from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE is documenting all tourism attractions across the country efforts to unlock value towards turning the industry into a US$5 billion sector by 2025.
The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry has heighten the efforts after government identified tourism as a low-risk high return sector with potential to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The ministry has since last week been touring the country and engaging the tourism business community to strengthen relations between public and private tourism business sectors.
The initiative, also driven by the ZimBho, iZim Yami domestic tourism drive, started a few years ago before COVID-19 halted it.
Minister Nqobizitha Ndlovu said the drive aims to stock of all potential tourism sites in provinces so that the ministry comes up with development plans for the sites to attract investments.
The initiative is also to promote these sites to both domestic and international tourists alongside the popular tourism products in the country.
“Our teams have traversed the province taking stock of the numerous and exciting tourism resources in the province,” Ndlovu said after touring the Midlands province.
“This is in conformity with our goal under the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025) to achieve geographical spread of tourism in all provinces,” he added.
The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on all government departments to create opportunities for inclusive growth in all sectors of the economy.
“Through this engagement, we are therefore carrying through this pronounced vision,” Ndlovu said.
He said the government was seeking to develop tourism at provincial level in line with the devolution and decentralisation policy.
ZimParks, National Museums and Monuments and the Tourism ministry are assessing the project.
It is anticipated to culminate in result in growth of Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTE).
“Touring around the country, I have discovered that each province has its own unique selling points which can be leveraged to collate destination Zimbabwe packages. Such cross-cutting packages will be the stimulus for tourists to stay longer in our country thereby increasing revenue,” Ndlovu said.
The Midlands province has various tourism attractions comprising heritage and cultural sites, wildlife and natural endowments.
The province teems with pristine wildlife and nature and rich history and heritage being the melting pot for various cultures in the country.
The mix caters for both local and international tourists, the minister said.
“We still have a number of untapped tourism opportunities. Our mission is to expose such opportunities to the world and we need investment,” Ndlovu said.
– CAJ News