Ministries partner to promote tourism


Harare — The Ministry of Information, Technology and Communication is partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality in marketing Zimbabwe as an attractive tourist destination and ensure the country becomes a “digital paradise”.

Information, Technology and Communication Minister, Mr Nelson Chamisa noted that challenges facing the ICT sector were negatively affecting online marketing of the country’s tourist destinations.

Mr Chamisa was speaking at a tourism stakeholder meeting in Harare last week.

“We are going to address the problem of connectivity,” said Minister Chamisa.

While Internet was accessible, the efficiency was poor, said Mr Chamisa.

“We have the Internet but it is slow when other countries have advanced on communication technologies,” he added.

Minister Chamisa said the country had an outdated website which sends a wrong signal to the world.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Mr Walter Mzembi has said that tour operators must develop an aggressive marketing strategy, which includes packaging destinations in the region to lure tourists.

Mr Mzembi told media practitioners at an interactive meeting last week that such a strategy would counter the ‘exploitation’ of Victoria Falls by regional counterparts.

“We cannot continue to cry foul that other countries are actively packaging a destination located in our country as their own,” he said.

“Our tour operators should also package destinations that are not necessarily in our country.”

Mr Mzembi, however, said he would meet his regional counterparts to map out strategies that enable mutual benefits.

“I will soon be meeting my colleagues to re-establish and reaffirm locations of attractions,” he said.

Zambia and South Africa have benefited immensely from Victoria Falls, which is a major highlight in their tour packages.

The countries, Mr Mzembi said, were ahead in terms of marketing strategies and local tour operators could therefore not begrudge their efficiency.

“We have not been stopped from including South Africa’s Sun City or beaches in Mozambique in our tour packages,” he said.

South Africa and Zambia have over the years consistently packaged the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to lure tourists.