POOR road network is inhibiting the potential growth of the tourism sector in Eastern Highlands, Nyanga, the Publicity Association vice-chairperson, Nhemias Gurajena has said.
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Nyanga Publicity Association comprises hoteliers and tourism players operating in Manicaland province.
In an interview with Standardbusiness recently, Gurajena said the Eastern Highlands had the potential to become a hub of tourism in the country, generating the much-needed foreign currency to revive the economy.
“We have a big challenge to have access to these sites. We have good products, but our road network is pathetic,” said Gurajena.
“There is need for urgent rehabilitation of our road network to boost our tourism industry.”
Gurajena said the local authority and the Department of Roads were supposed to rehabilitate the road network, if the area was to benefit from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be held in Victoria Falls next year.
Zimbabwe is co-hosting the meeting with Zambia.
It is expected that before and after the meeting, tourists would visit major sites in the country.
Gurajena said the bad road network was making some tourist attractions such as Mutarazi Falls, Pungwe scenic view and Nyangani Mountains, among others, inaccessible to both domestic and international tourists.
An official from roads department in Nyanga said lack of funding and obsolete equipment was impacting negatively on their efforts to rehabilitate these roads.
Area manager for Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in Nyanga, Onius Bepe, however said the Eastern Highlands continued to record an increase in the number of tourists despite the bad state of the roads.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe representative in Eastern Highlands, Tranos Moyo, said their efforts to market Nyanga as a major tourism destination would go down the drain if roads were not rehabilitated.