Domestic tourism promotion strategies during and after the Covid-19 pandemic in Zimbabwe
Keywords:domestic tourism promotion, domestic tourism strategies, marketing, Zimbabwe, Covid-19
The Covid-19 induced lockdowns, including the closure of national borders, have created opportunities for innovative destination marketers to optimise the involvement of their nationals in domestic tourism. A qualitative approach in which 15 in-depth interviews with expert informants were carried out online using WhatsApp Video Calling, this study sought to identify domestic tourism promotion strategies in Zimbabwe. The expert informants were purposively sampled from tourism-related government departments, tourism parastatals, private sector tourism representative organisations, publicity associations, and tourism operators. Data was thematically analysed. The main identified strategies to promote domestic tourism in Zimbabwe during and post Covid-19 pandemic include making tourism products affordable and accessible, improving the income levels of Zimbabweans, developing appealing packages, and programs; tapping into the visiting friends and relatives market, embarking on aggressive marketing campaigns, introducing incentive travel particularly for civil servants, and a continued commitment to the observance of all Covid-19 prevention, and treatment guidelines. The study implications are that in Zimbabwe, it is imperative for the government, the private sector, and the community, to partner in various ways and at different levels in implementing these strategies to promote domestic tourism in the country.