‘Religious tourism can promote economic development’

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Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
BULAWAYO Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube has said churches have a huge role to play in economic development through religious tourism.

Ncube was speaking at the inaugural Council of Churches in Africa (CCA) launch in Bulawayo on Sunday.

She urged churches to have centres that can be used as religious tourist monuments.

“Churches have been identified as a major vehicle through which congregants are involved in the development of local communities. Churches will create or develop centres of excellence through which their foundations and historical formations act as boosters for religious tourism,” she said.

Ncube said CCA would be used as a spring board for religious tourism.

“Religious tourism, therefore, contributes to our country’s domestic product as several congregants and tourists flock into the country for pilgrimage,” she said.

“This, therefore, will be made possible as we have confidence that the CCA will tirelessly drive that since it is a body with local, regional and international links where fellowship will contribute to our local businesses during major church festivities, such as
Easter.”

Statistics show that out of the five billion domestic arrivals, people moving within their borders, between 45% and 50% are for religious tourism with Israel being an example of a country that attracts millions of religious tourists.

CCA president and founder Rocky Moyo said the council sought to unite Christians.

“We have a plan in place, which is to put everyone together and by doing so, splits will be limited. We founded this organisation with the purpose of uniting Christians, politicians among others,” he said.

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