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The Future is Cashless – Matopos National Park reaping the fruits

Zimbabwe is a progressive country in-terms of adoption of payment technologies (Banks offer digital wallets partnering and powered by Ecocash, OneWallet and Telecash platforms). With cash providing to be hard to get and being sold from 8% to 15% to access it, each month day, electronic transfer is non-avoidable.

The use of plastic money has seen an upsurge in domestic tourism especially visiting Matopos National Park.
Mr. Emilon Maghodhi speaking to Zimbabwe Chronicle newspaper said that the growth of domestic tourism has seen cascading of locals to once international acclaimed tourists resorts and attractions in the country.

“In terms of the domestic market, numbers have actually been growing with the improved usage of plastic money among the general populace, which made it easy for people to transact. There was a time when people were having challenges to access cash and this impacted negatively on the number of visitors to our attractions. However, since we started transacting using Point of Sales and mobile money there is vast improvement,” said Mr Magodhi although he could not give numbers offhand.

Consumers have now the convenient and have low-risk facility when transacting using cashless money for payments and purchases.

However, regional tourists visits have plunged because of high exchange rates of the US dollar against the regional currencies.

“In terms of the international visitors, we have seen quite a number over the past few years. The figures are actually improving and we also give credit to our local tour operating companies that are registered to operate in the park, because they are the ones bringing the international clientele. In terms of the regional market the figures are low, maybe it’s because of the exchange rate. Our main regional hub was South Africa, but the figures have been stagnant. When we say international we would be looking at all the countries outside the Southern Africa Development Community region,” said Mr Magodhi.

Zimbabwe has a fairly developed electronic payments sector, and the main reason is due to the banks. Thanks to the Internet or mobile banking, domestic tourists can pay for almost all possible travel services that are in the country. However, from the point of view of direct online commerce in Zimbabwe, there is still a great potential for development.

The Matopos National Park, popularly known as Matobo National Park which covers an area of 3100km2, is one Southern Zimbabwe’s popular and most beautiful regions. It is a world renowned tourism destination that is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites. The area exhibits a profusion of distinctive rock outcrops rising above the granite rock that covers and makes much of Zimbabwe.

The large boulders provided much occupation for the early Stone Age people right through the historical times and intermittently times. They also future outstanding rock paintings in Southern Africa as whole that dates back to early Stone Age in the form of Bambata rock paintings and the Nswatugi and Pomogwe caves to mention a few.

Zimbabwe is a welcoming country to tourists and such innovations and solutions do help not only domestic tourists but also international tourists to travel with the country with such maximum simplicity and comfort.

The country’s government is currently engaging tourism players with a possibility of reducing charges of hotel accommodation and other associated activities to make them affordable to locals as the drive to promote domestic tourism intensifies.

Tourism is one of the key economic drivers a low hanging fruit and the new political administration is leaving no stone unturned to make sure the sector attracts more visitors and investors.

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