Zimbabwe tourism master plan out soon

By Gugu Mahlalela

HARARE – Zimbabwe will soon unveil a  national tourism master plan (NTMP) which which will be hinged on  promoting domestic travel and focusing on establishing an initial 11  tourism development zones (TDZs) across the country, a cabinet Minister has said.

The plan is expected to drive the growth and success of the sector in  the next two decades and help attain the vision of Zimbabwe becoming one  of the top five tourism destinations in the Southern African Development  Community.

The African Development Bank availed around $4 million in 2014 to fund  development of the NTMP.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi said the plan  focused on developing and enhancing the sector’s performance around the  country’s bio-diversity.

“The NTMP will work as a guide in product development and  diversification, infrastructural and manpower development, community  participation and preservation of nature, culture and heritage,” he said  at a review meeting of the plan.

Italian firm, Keios Tourism International Consultancy Company developed  the plan with the assistance of local experts.

Initially the plan was envisaged to be completed last year.

The target is to have the tourism sector improving its earnings from  the current $1 billion to over $5 billion, with tourist arrivals  expected to multiply to 12.5 million by 2035.

Mzembi said effective implementation of the plan would enable Zimbabwe  to deliver sustainable development tourism for the benefit of the  economy.

“Eighty percent of Zimbabwe’s tourism product is our bio-diversity, our  flora and fauna.

“Bio-diversity has become a major attraction to the  international source markets,” he told stakeholders.

The 11 initial TDZs targeted in the implementation of the plan are  Harare, which would be a business, meeting and conferences zone, the  Eastern Highlands for its scenery, Chimanimani for mountain based  tourism activities and Gonarezhou for its wildlife.

Great Zimbabwe has been targeted for heritage, culture and water based  activities, Limpopo for its wildlife, Victoria Falls for the spectacular  seventh wonder of the world – the falls- as well as meetings and  conference and Bulawayo for business and meetings.

The Midlands, Kariba and Mavhuradonha are also targeted zones for  offering a variety of water based activities, wildlife and cultural  events. – New Ziana

July 2017
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