The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has engaged stakeholders in dialogue to develop an understanding and agreements to solutions that affect the tourism industry.
Stakeholder workshops, the first in a planned series of workshops to be conducted in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls was held on 18 January 2018 in Harare. The industry was positive and came up with ideas on how the Domestic Tourism strategy should be implemented.
An action matrix on ideas generated during the workshop is now available to be implemented by the Industry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority , the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality other Government departments and media just to mention a few.
The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority manages the key tourism attractions around which leisure tourism in Zimbabwe revolves that comprise 13% of Zimbabwe’s total land with wildlife and scenery. Zim Parks is therefore a catalyst or enabler of leisure tourism in Zimbabwe. The synergies between the two entities will enable both parastatals to achieve their mandates.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zim Parks have agreed on co-branding on both print and electronic media and website linkages have already been done. Joint schools engagements with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority have been conducted. Other areas of discussion are upgrading of standards for accommodation within the Parks Estate. In order to give citizens an opportunity to visit tourist resorts in the country, Parks are working on a proposal for a free day into the Parks Estate.
National Museums and Monuments Zimbabwe runs a project heritage in focus every Monday on ZTV. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and National Museums have agreed to collaborate on that programme and agreed on joint publicity programmes through road shows together with National Museums. Joint publicity for Eighteen May (International Museums Day) have been agreed upon. Joint Familiarization tours for the media and tour operators touching on historical sites have been scheduled as part of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to raise awareness of what the country has to offer.
The Civil Service Bureau has been identified as a partner in launching the Domestic Tourism Campaign. Under the banner FLY NOW, PAY LATER, all civil servants and Zimbabweans that can show proof of regular income will enjoy the benefits of flying and paying for their tickets after they have already travelled. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Civil Service Bureau have agreed to partner on Domestic Tourism promotion. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed on 22 March 2018 at ZTA offices at 1430. Media famil tours and the provision of domestic packages are being put in place. The meetings with CSTB culminated in the crafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will clearly pronounce areas of interest. In order to have buy in with the Civil Servants, the APEX Council has been engaged as well.
The domestic tourism team is carrying out a domestic tourism awareness programme to schools throughout the country. This is to resuscitate the culture of domestic travel. Young people are major decision makers in the buying process hence the old adage ‘Catch them young’ rings true. Presentations on the storyline ‘The dream I had’ has started in earnest as presentations have been done to two schools so far.
In order to raise awareness of what the country has to offer, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has organised famil tours throughout the country. The tours will also feature areas that are not frequently travelled. A famil Tour to Imire Game Park was conducted on 26 January, 2018 and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority gave an experience to members of the public who were randomly picked from the streets and claimed they knew nothing about tourism. Seven journalists from both print and electronic media were invited to be part of the programme. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is finalizing a media tour to Gonarezhou National Park and the Eastern Highlands to be conducted in March.
The authority has engaged an advertising agency to produce a high quality destination video. This video will be used to promote the destination, to create awareness of what the destination has to offer and to educate the public about the tourism products and services on offer in Zimbabwe. A destination video is a critical marketing tool for destination marketing.