BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
PRINCIPAL tourism officer in the Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry Wimbai Musuka on Saturday said community-based tourism enterprises (CBTEs) have proven to be a poverty alleviation tool for communities that fully utilise leisure industry amenities in their areas.
In an interview with Southern Eye at the just-ended Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo in Bulawayo, Musuka said community-based tourism has been key in preserving the country’s cultural heritage, at the same time bringing in the much-needed revenue for community development.
“As highlighted in the national tourism policy, the tourism sector plays a leading role in the emancipation of local communities and the participation of communities in mainstream activities. To this effect, with partners like the Japan International Co-operation Agency (Jica) we have joined hands to equip our communities within tourism facilities to benefit from the community-based tourism enterprises initiative by imparting relevant skills and trainings for their economic benefit,” she said.
Musuka said communities must embrace the CBTEs and lead in project implementation.
“Through the CBTEs, we want to assist communities market their projects by providing the linkages within tourism operators and hoteliers to market their products and services. However, for continuity sake, those participating must have business minds and desist from the donor fund syndrome if they are to flourish in the industry,” she said.
Musuka said CBTEs need support from the corporate world.
Chesvingo-Karanga Village of Masvingo, Tengenenge Arts and Craft of Guruve, Gairezi in Nyanga, Bulawayo Township and Kore-Kore Cultural Village in Chinhoyi are among the beneficiaries of the CBTEs initiatives, with support from Jica.