Relative stability brings tourists back to Zimbabwe

For a while now most news out of Zimbabwe has been bad. Gross mismanagement by President Robert Mugabe led the country to financial ruin and hyperinflation, with people using gasoline as currency because nobody wanted the government’s $50 million dollar bills.

But with the return of relative stability thanks to the new unity government, tourists are coming back to Zimbabwe. The nation’s Council of Tourism reports that 362,000 people visited Zimbabwe by August 2009, up from 100,000 in the same period in 2008. It wasn’t clear if this figure only counted tourists or all foreign visitors. A decade ago, Zimbabwe raked in $250 million annually in tourism revenue. That dipped to just $40 million in 2005, but has risen to $100 million since the unity government came into power in 2008.

However the numbers are created, it’s still good news. With the country’s economy in shambles, an influx of foreign currency is sure to help. The government has been offering tax incentives for companies wanting to invest in Zimbabwe tourism. And with attractions such as Victoria Falls (pictured here) and abundant wildlife, if you’re looking for good deals on an African trip you may want to consider Zimbabwe. They’ll certainly be glad to see you.