from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE is pinning its hopes on sport to revive the tourism industry in the wake of successive coronavirus-19 induced lockdowns.
Sports Tourism Incorporation is organizing a three-day sports extravaganza to be staged in Victoria Falls between September 24 and 26.
Golf, tennis, mountain biking, marathon and aerobics have been lined up.
This will be the first time such a huge event with multi-disciplines takes place in Victoria Falls.
This is expected to ignite the prime resort city that has over the years failed to use sport as a tourism draw card.
Government, through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has stepped in to support the initiative with the aim of boosting domestic tourism, especially the ZimBho #Zim Yami, #Vakatsha initiatives.
“We were approached by Sports Inc to partner them in this initiative and we were immediately impressed. We saw an opportunity to market the destination using sport. The festival will help us propel the domestic tourism ZimBho campaign that is currently underway,” said ZTA head of corporate affairs, Godfrey Koti.
The sports festival seeks to promote sports tourism, market destination Zimbabwe and create sustainable development for marginalised communities in resort towns.
Koti said partnering with organisers of the event will help step up domestic tourism marketing efforts.
Sports tourism is now a big product around the globe and there is a massive opportunity for collaboration with sport to further reach, critical masses, said Koti.
He said the event will help position Zimbabwe as a must visit destination for both local and international tourists.
Before the advent of COVID-19, sports tourism was becoming one of the fastest growing sectors in the global travel industry.
The Zimbabwe government was also courting investors to develop a motor race course with the aim of bringing Grand Prix to the resort town.
Currently international travel is restricted with those allowed to travel subjected to PCR tests and production of vaccination certificates at ports of entry.
Government opened Victoria Falls and Kazungula borders while restaurants have also now been allowed to serve vaccinated sit-in clients.
Malvin Kanjere, Public relations and Marketing director of Ecotourism Africa and Sports Tourism Inc. said the objective of the event is to help revive domestic tourism and rubber stamp government efforts.
“Our goal is to enhance domestic tourism and support recovery efforts through social sport. We are negotiating packages with key stakeholders and operators for citizens to access tourism resorts,” he said.
– CAJ News