Zimbabwe’s tourism sector on the rise after Mugabe exit

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Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is enjoying a rebound after nearly two decades, following the resignation of former president Robert Mugabe.

According to tourism minister, Victoria Falls – the southern African country’s flagship destination – has seen a near 50 percent rise in the number of foreign visitors in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2017.

Countrywide arrivals have risen by 15 percent to 554, 417, according to the treasury statistics.

Zimbabwe’s reputation as a tourist destination suffered during the Robert Mugabe era, as his administration often shunned the West and clashed with foreign investors.

The 93-year-old resigned in November owing to pressure from the army, ending a 37-year-long grip on Zimbabwe.

“We were in a closed period for a long time,” Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira said.

“We closed ourselves in, doors were locked.”

Emerson Mnangagwa took over the presidency and immediately asked foreign investors and governments to invest in the country.

Zimbabwe holds a key presidential election next week (30 July) – the first since its independence in 1980 in which Mugabe will not participate.

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