MASVINGO Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Josiah Hungwe has called on Zimbabweans to value peace to promote development across different economic sectors including tourism. He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the provincial administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa during a consultative workshop on the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) in Masvingo on Sunday.
The Minister said through respecting the sanctity of life and peace all economic sectors were bound to thrive and thus registering positive growth trajectories and enhancing their contribution to national economy.
“All Zimbabweans must respect the sanctity of line and peace to build a Zimbabwe that allows all sectors to thrive including the tourism sector,” said Minister Hungwe.
In light of the envisaged NTSS whose stakeholder consultative workshops are presently being conducted, he said it was imperative for the country to develop new and diverse attractions to increase tourist arrivals into the country.
In 2016, Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals were at 2.2 million. The Government and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) are working together to enhance the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy.
Minister Hungwe also commended his province for supporting the NTSS saying this would see different stakeholders in the province being included in the country’s national vision for the tourism sector.
“The province is also appealing to Government to declare Tokwe Mkosi a special economic zone under the tourism cluster. ZTA should also strive to capture economic value from grassroots, ” said Minister Hungwe, while also applauding the Government’s efforts in rehabilitating the Harare-Beitbridge highway, which is a major artery in Masvingo province. Tokwe Mkosi, one of Zimbabwe’s inland water bodies was commissioned last year.
Speaking at the same occasion ZTA chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke challenged Masvingo City Council to register properties in light of the stiff competition anticipated from the booming tourism business.