16 May 2016
THE message from Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Anastancia Ndhlovu that Africaâ€™s full tourism potential can be realised if all countries on the continent cooperate to make it accessible to tourists cannot be overemphasized.
The issue around brand Africa is too important for the continent to realise the full potential as far as the tourism sector is concerned.
Africa is endowed with beautiful natural resources that cannot be matched by any other continent. To a vast number of people outside the continent, there are plenty of pull factors that can make them come to Africa as tourists.
Whilst the continent must work as a whole in trying to lure tourists, each country also has a role to play to exhibit the tourist attractions that make it unique.
Zimbabwe is no different.
The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Engineer Walter Mzembi is constantly stating that Zimbabwe can have a US$5 Billion tourism economy should be taken seriously by all the players in the industry.
We are a beautiful country with beautiful people and great tourist destinations and there is no reason why we cannot produce US$5 billion through tourism as long as we can let the world know our worth.
The uniqueness of the Great Zimbabwe and the architectural expertise displayed over a century ago with no mortar is something anyone in the world would love to marvel at.
Add the fact that this was done before civilization and you will understand the interest that â€“ with better marketing all over the world â€“ a monument like the Great Zimbabwe can generate.
Minister Mzembiâ€™s insistence that we are driving towards a US$5 billion tourism economy is encouraging and very feasible given the strides the country has made to promote local tourism.
ZTA has made several shrewd decisions to market brand Zimbabwe and with more support from the ministry, a lot more can be achieved.
The Mighty Victoria Falls needs no exaggerated marketing as it has naturally fallen amongst one of the Seven Wonders of the World. One needs only to know the amount of water flowing in the great Zambezi River and the rate and depth to which it plummets into the Victoria Falls gorge to catch a flight to Zimbabwe.
What may worry Americans â€“ and any foreigners that had stopped coming to Zimbabwe over the last decade â€“ is the situation on the ground because what is portrayed by the international media about Zimbabwe borders on malicious misinformation.
And there is need to solve that anomaly.
We have opportunities, through international conferences like the UNWTO and the ICASA conference that we hosted, to tell the true story of Zimbabwe through the thousands of foreign delegates that thronged the country and obviously preached the truth about Zimbabwe when they returned.