The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has pleaded with accommodation service providers in Bulawayo to charge reasonable, affordable and fair prices as the country is making preparation for an international event, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
The press statement released on 27 March, stated that there is extra-ordinary hiking of prices by service providers and this calls for the intervention authorities for the protection of consumers, whilst promoting the theme “Zimbabwe is open for business” around the world.
Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Priscah Mupfumira, raised the concern that there must be a justifiable reason for the hiking of prices because supply and demand determine the prices of good and service.
On the notion of business service providers must not take advantage of consumers or an event which bound to happen in the upcoming weeks because this tarnishes the image of the country, on the fact that hospitality sector must be conducted in a proper business ethical manner.
She added on to say that the ministry in conjunctions with operators, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe and the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe in trying to solve the problematic issue which is raising high alarm in Bulawayo.
However, the minister said this is unacceptable because Zimbabwe has been awarded the best status as a Sustainable Destination both in Africa and recognized as one of the most to be visited destination in 2019.
Mrs. Mupfumira further elaborated, “…we cannot dilute the positive garnered in the new dispensation, the second republic,” this came after Zimbabwe managed to uplift the highest tourism figures of 1999 to an unprecedented 2,5 million visitors in 2018.
This act of high charging rates is against domestic tourism marketing because ordinary Zimbabweans cannot afford their own tourism product said the Minster.
In addition, she gives hope to the consumers that the ministry together with relevant stakeholders and other partners are concerned with the price not only in the City of Kings but across Zimbabwe.
An alternative solution has been provided that through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority in collaboration with ZITF company has allowed people with suitable accommodation in their homes to assist interested visitors during the event with reasonable fees.
However, they have to register with ZTA and ZITF offices in Bulawayo.