Original Research

Tourism destination competitiveness: A view from suppliers operating in a country with political challenges

Erisher Woyo, Elmarie Slabbert
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 24, No 1 | a3717 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v24i1.3717 | © 2021 Erisher Woyo, Elmarie Slabbert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 May 2020 | Published: 28 January 2021

About the author(s)

Erisher Woyo, Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES), Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; Namibia Business School, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Elmarie Slabbert, Tourism Research in Economic Environs & Society (TREES), Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Background: Tourism in Zimbabwe has been affected by politics for more than two decades following the contested land-reform programme that was done in the year 2000. Therefore, understanding the destination competitiveness of Zimbabwean tourism is crucial for optimising tourist arrivals in the country as this industry is still contributing to the economy amid the political challenges.

Aim: Given the importance of destination competitiveness, in the era of rising global competition, this study examined the factors that make Zimbabwe a competitive tourist destination, regardless of its political challenges.

Setting: The study used data collected from hospitality and tourism managers for establishments in Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, the Eastern Highlands and Harare. These are considered the major tourist destinations in Zimbabwe.

Methods: Data were collected using a quantitative design from 301 tourism and hospitality managers.

Results: The suppliers rated natural attractiveness, cultural attractiveness and human resources as critical dimensions contributing to the competitiveness of Zimbabwe. Significant to this study was the finding that perceptions differ depending on the type of establishment.

Conclusion: As competition between destinations in Africa is growing, understanding the dimensions influencing destination competitiveness is invaluable, because it enables destination managers to focus on unique critical dimensions to sustain a competitive advantage.


destination competitiveness; tourist destination; political challenges; Zimbabwe; Africa.


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