‘Let’s develop local tourism’

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Zimbabweans have been challenged to visit local resorts and attraction sites in order to promote the development of domestic tourism.

Speaking at the official opening on the Sanganai-Hlanganani World Travel Expo 2011 on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said the country was endowed with world-class tourist attractions among them Nyanga and Victoria Falls.

“We want Zimbabweans to start visiting Zimbabwean tourist attractions — Zimbabwe for Zimbabwean tourism,” said Mutambara.

He said the African continent could do better that the 2% market share it controls in global tourism.
Mutambara said Zimbabwe was working towards engaging a national tourism team to ensure improvement in the supply of water and electricity.

“Tourism must be supported in Zimbabwe, but we must upgrade our facilities and systems,” said Mutambara.

He said tourism was one of key drivers of the economy as there was a link between tourism and investment. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chairperson Mara Hativagone said this year Sanganai-Hlanganani World Travel Expo was the fourth edition being held under the theme

“Promoting Peace in the World”.

“Tourism is a people-to-people industry that depends on the movement of people from one point to another, promoting peace and understanding,” said Hativagone.

She said Sanganai-Hlanganani World Travel Expo continued to grow each year.

“Tourism brings understanding between countries even where there were differences. Tourism helps to unlock challenges and misunderstandings in our countries,” said Hativagone.

Buyers that attended the just ended Sanganai-Hlanganani World Travel Expo said the country had huge potential to grow the tourism industry, but had work towards the improvement of the hotel and airline industries.

A group of buyers led by China United Fun Trip International Agency sales manager Zhang Liming said their visit to the country was representative of the numerous potential customers eager to visit the country.

“Expanding the airline services is the most important tool to promote and grow tourism in the country,” said Liming.

“Zimbabwe should introduce more players in the airline services as there is a need to expand and grow the tourism industry,” he added.