Shot in the arm for tourism industry as Fly Emirates returns to Zimbabwe

Albert Chavhunduka.

The tourism industry is set to receive a massive boost through tourist arrivals after international airline Fly Emirates to resume passenger flights to Zimbabwe.

Fly Emirates indefinitely suspended its passenger operations to South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe in November last year following the outbreak of the Omicron variant.

In a travel advisory statement released recently, the Gulf State carrier announced that it is resuming its passenger operations between Dubai and five African countries.

“Emirates will restart passenger operations between Dubai and five African countries starting from 29 January. Emirates will operate to Harare with six weekly flights linked to its Lusaka service from 30 January,” read the statement.

However, the carrier urged all traveling passengers to follow stipulated rules and requirements for safe traveling to their final destinations.

“All passengers traveling from Emirates’ African network with Dubai as their final destination require a 48hr PCR. Passengers must present a valid negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility and validity must be calculated from the time the sample was collected,” read part of the statement.”

“Upon arrival in Dubai, passengers will undergo an additional Covid-19 PCR test and remain in self quarantine until the test results are received,” the statement read.

Other countries set to benefit from the resumption of passenger operations by Emirates include Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, few tourists have been trickling into the country and resumption of flights by Emirates will play a critical role in increasing tours it arrivals.

According to the United Nations (UN), the impact of Covid-19 on tourism will cost the world economy US$4 trillion, with developing countries among the worst affected.

In Zimbabwe, out of about 120 000 people who worked in the tourism industry before the pandemic, an estimated 54 000 people in the sector have since lost their jobs according to statistics provided by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).

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