PEACE and stability play a critical role towards rebranding Zimbabwe and ensure development of the tourism industry, a Cabinet minister has said. Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said the recent agreement that principals in the inclusive Government had reach agreement over issues that had been stalling the constitution-making process was a great achievement in building the country's image.
"The agreement of the parties is a great achievement for the country and the tourism sector at large," he said.
President Mugabe of Zanu-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the mainstream MDC and feuding leaders of the smaller MDC formations Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Industry and Trade Minister Welshman Ncube resolved outstanding issues stalling the constitution-making process.
Minister Mzembi said resolving differences was important as the country sought to move ahead with the rebranding exercise.
"We need continued support of the brand 'Zimbabwe a World of Wonders'.
"The country suffered from negative coverage and perceptions especially from the Western media, thus as we try to regain world confidence, it is vital that the leaders also finding common ground to move the nation ahead," he said.
Without peace, Minister Mzembi added, the hospitality industry would not thrive with.
He cited political problems that characterised North Africa as examples of deterrents to African tourism growth.
Travel and tourism have been identified as leading industries providing major sources of Gross Domestic Product, employment, exports and taxes.
Minister Mzembi said Zimbabwe was projected to be the fastest growing travel and tourism economy for the period 2010-2020 with an estimated annual growth rate of 8,7 percent.
Tourism is also projected to rake in US$5 billion by 2015.