Agricultural and Rural tourism stimulates rural growth, jobs and income creation.
According to the International Labour Office, in 2010 Rural tourism through activities in Hotel and catering generated about 9.3 percent of the global GDP and constituted some 9.2 percent of total global investments.
Tourist arrivals in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) tripled between 1998 and 2008 with an average annual growth rate of 13 percent and an increase in revenue from USD 1 billion to 5,3 billion.
Employment creation can be noted through tourism. Women represent between 60 and 70 percent of rural tourism labour force and half of the workforce is composed of youth under 25 years of age.
More than 60 percent of travel and touring in the country happens in places in culture and heritage according to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) statistics of 2019.
Heritage and cultural tourism can uplift the rural livelihoods, but the country need to uplift services such as accommodation, water, electricity and mobile network besides road work.
Rural development in Zimbabwe might take longer to be meaningfully achieved than other (LDCs) if the caliber of current leadership does not change their way of doing business.
The areas of tourist attraction being in rural areas, they are hardly accessible as the road network is literally not functioning.
There is lack of sustainable interventions in the development of rural tourism which is characterised by absence of rural tourism promotion strategy to support the sustenance of livelihoods through socio economic transformation.
For Zimbabwe to transform the economy through tourism, it needs to plan the process, formulate and implement relevant economic and social development strategies and policies.
The elites in government should desist from flying abroad for holidays at any slim opportunity they find but should be seen leading the pack in flocking the rural areas.
Visiting the rural tourist centers by elites will bring confidence both from external and internal tourists and thereby increase volumes of tourists in rural areas.