|January 18, 2016
Hunting ban costs Zim US$45 million in annual revenue
A ban on hunting trophies by the United States of America is costing Zimbabwe not less than US$45 million in annual revenue.
Addressing journalists, Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) president Francis Ngwenya hinted that the ban was a major blow to the economy which benefited immensely from the revenue generated from hunting trophies. “The Zimbabwe Council for Tourism is disappointed by the ban on hunting products recently announced in the US as this will have a negative effect on Zimbabwe.
“It is the ZCT’s belief that controlled hunting is an important part of the wildlife management programme in this country. However this ban will impact the hunting industry with consequent negative impacts on employment, income generation and wildlife conservation,” said Ngwenya.
He added that in 2014, the hunting business generated not less than US$45 million and the bulk of hunters were from the US. He however expressed confidence on the efforts being made the American hunting community in lobbying for the ban to be lifted.
Meanwhile, Ngwenya announced that Zimbabwe will be hosting a tourism convention from 10 February to 12 February 2016 in the Victoria Falls. The event will run under the theme “Growing emerging economies through tourism development.” Ngwenya said the idea to host a convention had been mooted to replace its annual congresses which restricted attendance mainly to members of the organisation.
“The convention will be a platform for the widest possible focus on matters related to the travel and tourism sector. Full and active involvement will be sought of people and organisations within the sector, local regional and international, as well as with national authorities in relevant areas,” he said.
The event will attract not less than 300 delegates, including operators from within the travel and tourism sector in Zimbabwe and in neighbouring countries namely Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola. “The event will be a major boost for business in Victoria Falls, which traditionally has a low period during February. The ZCT has invited a number of leading corporates to partner it in the 2016 tourism convention and will finalise these partnerships.
He said the gathering would be critical in mapping strategies towards ensuring the country attained the target of boosting tourist arrivals to 5 million by the year 2020 and to earn the targeted US$5 billion.
(Financial Gazette, Harare)