BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ FARAI MATIASHE
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) will tighten its monitoring of the sector to ensure more transparency as well as curb foreign currency leakages, an official has said.
ZTA acting chief executive Rita Likukuma told NewsDay that government was adopting e-governance systems in order to deal with revenue leakages.
“We work well with players in the tourism sector. Government has adopted e-governance as a management tool, so we are going to automate a lot of the systems, including revenue automated collection. That way, you take out any possible leakages if they were there and take (away) any unsubstantiated accusations,” she said.
“I want to try and deal with facts, and then also use systems to make sure that we manage the process without pointing fingers. So we are taking on board our stakeholders and players from a good faith point of view and then moving ahead on an automated system. It is something that we are already working on and hope to see coming into effect within the next three months.”
Meanwhile, ZTA has opened registration for this year’s edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo set for September 12 to 14 in Bulawayo.
Likukuma said ZTA was looking forward to a bigger expo as they expected to host over 100 international buyers from various source markets across the globe.
“The 2018 edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo registered 318 exhibitors and we envisage surpassing this given the interest that has come through from first time exhibitors. We want the 2019 edition to be bigger and better,” she said.
“The screening criteria for international buyers will be strict as our focus is to host buyers who are serious about bringing business to Zimbabwe and who also have the potential to invest in the tourism industry.”
She encouraged small-to-medium tourism operators and suppliers to register for the expo, adding that there was no small operator in tourism since everyone had a market to serve.
“I am appealing to every operator throughout the country to come out and take advantage of the fair. In order to give every operator an opportunity to meet with international buyers at Sanganai/Hlanganani, we will be offering a 10% discount to exhibitors who register at the ZTA stand during ZITF,” she said.
Likukuma said Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo had contributed to the increase in numbers of tourist arrivals in the country.
“We want to get back to where young people used to be active in tourism. So we are looking at more activity from the youths. There is a lot of work that needs to done, but we need to persuade the people who support incomes and revenues for the younger generation, so that we can have those packages back. That way we can have more activity in domestic tourism,” she said.
“There is a lot of tourism going on and there are a number of people who want to hold conventions. Earlier on, we met a group of young people who said there were two conventions earmarked for this year. Then we are going to have many more other local groups enjoying our local tourism products.”