Tourism stakeholders led by Minister Prisca Mupfumira are in the United Kingdom to engage the Diaspora on how best to create synergies and work together in turning around economic fortunes for Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the engagement workshop in Birmingham yesterday, Mupfumira said since the ushering in of the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has been generating renewed confidence and interest throughout the world as a result of a vibrant reengagement strategy and the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
“In Tourism, we have recorded an increase in tourist arrivals and growth in the number of investment inquiries from both local and foreign prospective investors. The unprecedented growth on the backdrop is riding on a number of factors that include aggressive marketing efforts, political transition ushering in a new political dispensation, harmonised elections, traffic boom, increased air seat capacity and Government’s new marketing mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”. Indeed Zimbabwe is open for business!
“In this positive trajectory, as Government we feel it would be amiss for us not pay attention to, YOU, the Zimbabwe Diaspora in this quest of rebuilding our beloved country. You are a very important and special constituency, which we cannot do without,” Mupfumira said.
The Minister emphasised that the Zimbabwe Diaspora is a key market sector. Apart from contributing to tourism expenditure, the Diaspora is critical to boosting both domestic and international tourist arrivals. This is especially important given that conservatively, Zimbabwe has more than 4 million of its people in the Diaspora. The ongoing engagements are meant to transform the Diaspora into a critical source market which can help the country in turning around the fortunes of tourism.
The Government has initiated the Ease of Doing Business reforms that are key to repositioning the country’s tourism industry to contribute to the overall economic growth and turnaround.
On Tuesday, Cabinet resolved to remove import duties on solar-energy-related products, from batteries to cables, and mandated that all new construction in the country include solar systems. This is also in a bid to encourage the use of renewable solutions in businesses.
Mupfumara said responsible and sustainable tourism remains a top priority in her Ministry. Zimbabwe’s efforts in conserving its wildlife have been well recognised by the international community. Zimbabwe successfully hosted the ‘UN-AU Wildlife Summit’ whose aim was to come up with sustainable conservation and human and wildlife conflict solutions. This is in addition to the many Accolades the destination has won which include:
2019 Must Visit Destination – Lonley Planet
2019 Cool List – National Geographic
Sustainable Destination- PATWA
Tourism Minister of the Year 2019 (Africa)- PATWA
Frommer’s Best Places to go in 2019
This week, Zimbabwe was once again awarded the prestigious – 2019 Green Era Award for Sustainability in Germany.
The country is making strides to meaningfully tap into the Diaspora important market. Pursuant to this, the Tourism Ministry is at an advanced stage of finalising a Diaspora Tourism Strategy.
Apart from contributing to remittances ,the Diasporas also boost trade and foreign direct investment. They also establish business enterprises in their home countries thereby contributing to foreign currency generation, employment creation and the national income. Furthermore, they contribute to the much needed knowledge and skills transfer which in turn will enable the country to be innovative in the various sectors of the economy including tourism.
Mupfumira welcomed the Diaspora back home to contribute to the economic fortunes of Zimbabwe, a “World of Wonders”, a must visit destination.
In the tourism sector in particular there are various windows through which the Diaspora can participate. Zimbabwe is one of the world’s best tourism destinations thanks to its pristine wildlife and people, and tourism as a key pillar of our economy.
“New doors have been opened and more will continue to open. We are once again part of the global village, looking for friends to help us grow. I say to you bring your friends and families and experience Zimbabwe. To those of you who are enterprising there are tourism investment opportunities galore in all the destinations including Harare, Bulawayo, Binga, Kariba, Kanyemba and Tugwi-Mukosi to mention but just a few. I am confident that through your Diaspora network you will be able to tap into these opportunities and in the process you will serve as brand ambassadors for Destination Zimbabwe.
“Meanwhile we are already working with business partners including airlines that would ease your travel back home to enjoy what the country has to offer. This will be made possible, for example, through the introduction of special fares and packages for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora. This in our view will not only reduce your travel costs but also make tourism packages relatively affordable,” Mupfumira added.