Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Zimbabwe wants to draw back tourists

Written by editor

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s coalition government urged the world to weigh changes wrought by the new administration and help attract tourists back to its world-renowned nature reserves and resorts

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s coalition government urged the world to weigh changes wrought by the new administration and help attract tourists back to its world-renowned nature reserves and resorts.

Income from tourism, a key hard-currency earner, dropped sharply during years of political and economic turmoil. In travel advisories, most Western nations warned their nationals last year to avoid traveling to Zimbabwe as political violence surged surrounding disputed national elections.

President Robert Mugabe and longtime opposition leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February after months of political wrangling.

Vice President Joyce Mujuru, told politicians, business leaders and tourism operators at a tourism meeting at the main convention center in Harare, appealed to Western nations to lift travel warnings.

“Let us all publicly and emphatically condemn violence of whatever form and jointly celebrate achievements of the new political dispensation,” she told politicians, business leaders and tourism operators.

As the new government grappled to revive the shattered economy, Mujuru said it was time for all Zimbabweans “to take serious introspection to see to it that whatever we say and do does not contribute to the negative perceptions” the country suffered abroad.

“We are here now, through our inclusive voice, asking the international community to please remove the travel warnings,” she added.

The country’s economic collapse saw the highest inflation in the world and chronic shortages of hard currency, food, gasoline and most basic goods. No records of tourist arrivals were available during the upheavals.

Mujuru, a Mugabe loyalist, said the country’s needed more international flights, upgrading of public utilities and improvements in telephone and Internet systems that are near collapse.

She said daily power and water outages and deteriorating roads and highways deterred visitors.

“Our visitors do not need to go through the stress of failing to catch a bath in the morning or narrowly missing accidents” on the roads, most potholed and with drivers’ vision obscured by uncut grass at corners and turnings. “Lest we forget, potential tourists have alternative holiday destinations,” she said.

Among Zimbabwe’s main tourist attractions are the Victoria Falls, a World Heritage site in northwestern Zimbabwe, and Hwange National Park, the nation’s biggest nature preserve covering (5,500 square miles) (14,000 square kilometers) and the habitat of prolific elephant herds.

Tsvangirai is scheduled to close the tourism meeting on Thursday. He returned home Tuesday after spending a week recuperating in South Africa after the death of his wife in a car crash in which he was slightly injured.

His official Web site said he will not fully resume his official duties until April l.