The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MOTHI) are set to host the National Tourism Strategic Sector (NTSS) Consultative Workshops tour across various provinces in Zimbabwe between 8 and 23 February 2018.
The NTSS is mapping out how the sector can meaningfully contribute to the country's economy.
In a Stakeholder's Meeting on the Reserve Bank Tourism Facility launched recently in the capital, The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon Prisca Mupfumira said the strategy seeks to harness and coordinate all efforts for holistic Tourism Development in Zimbabwe and ensure a shared vision for tourism development.
"This forum is the first of its kind and we are very optimistic that contributions from various sectors will add value to the strategy that will be our bible for the next 10 years or so and it is our firm belief that tourism will never be the same again after this exercise." she added.
The Consultative Workshops will run in a series format with a full day dedicated to each location to allow each province to input to the strategy.
The dates and venues are as follows:- Harare 8 February 2018 at the ICC, Bulawayo 12 February 2018 Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, Victoria Falls 15 February 2018 Elephants Hills Hotel, Masvingo 19 February 2018, Mutare 20 February and lastly Chinhoyi 23 February 2018.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is aiming to promote domestic tourism and lure more local tourists through various activities (Pic by Lovejoy Mtongwiza)
Speaking at his offices in Harare, the ZTA Chief Executive, Dr K. Kaseke highlighted, "Through bench-marking exercises, we are borrowing a leaf from South Africa which through its NTSS placed it on a path of tourism growth that immensely contributed to the economic development of the country.
"More so it enabled South Africa to enhance its overall destination appeal and World Economic Rankings. Likewise Zimbabwe can now set the concrete targets to unlock potential and exponential growth as we too have a tremendous wealth of tourism resources that need to be yoked towards contributing to the economy." he said.
In attendance will be high profile speakers from the local scene and the international arena.
These include the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor, Dr J. P Mangudya, the General Manager of the South Africa Convention Bureau, Mrs A. Kotze-Nhlapo, Mr. D Nair from Singapore and several other Captains of Industry who will also be discussants in these workshops.
Topics to be discussed include Vision for the Tourism Sector, MICE Tourism, Tourism Investment Fund and Digital Marketing. It is the ZTA and the Ministry's desire to have Industry Players, Business Associations, Community Based Tourism Enterprises, State Owned Enterprises, and Tourism Value Chain Suppliers participate in these workshops.
An Elephant mingles with buffaloes at Imire Game Park recently. (Pic by Lovejoy Mtongwiza)
The Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT), Mr Paul Matamisa on behalf of the Industry expressed excitement on these developments saying 'Indeed we are happy to have this consultative process so that the tourism industry can contribute towards NTSS.
We anticipate that these collaborative efforts will see the tourism industry contribute towards inclusive growth'.
Kaseke hailed the consented engagement between the Private and Public sector as tourism is a cross cutting player that thrives on the support of other enabler sectors.
'It is our hope that there will be a resurgence of Zimbabwe's tourism through working together particularly during this new dispensation when there is heightened interest in the country for both tourism and investment' he added.