open access

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess how far the government of Zimbabwe’s tourism policies and strategies have affected the development of the tourism and hospitality sector.

Methods: The study was based on a review of the literature on tourism development in Zimbabwe. A range of peer-reviewed papers, reports from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). reports from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), and those of the Ministry of Environment, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry were consulted. The information offered a clear picture of how far the government had contributed to influencing the development of the tourism and hospitality industry during the period.

Results: The results of the study showed that for the period up to 2000 the government played only a facilitating role in the development of the sector. The results further showed that the government took a more proactive role in planning the development of the industry only when the persistent negative image of the country threatened the collapse of the sector.

Implications: It is recommended that the country effectively implements the National Tourism Master Plan and the National Tourism Sector Strategy which were launched in 2016 and 2018 respectively. A constant review of the National Tourism Sector Strategy will ensure an effective response to the global and national macro-economic, social and political changes that will occur during the plan period.