As the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) celebrated its 30th anniversary, it changed its name to the Tourism Business Council for Zimbabwe (TBCSZ).
In his statement at a media briefing held at the TBCZ offices in Harare on Thursday 30 August 2018, the President of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, Tich Hwingwiri reiterated the critical role that his organisation has played over the years in improving tourism.
“The ZCT was created in 1988 to provide a voice for the operators in the travel and tourism sector, providing a means by which matters of relevance and importance involving the entire sector could be handled. Matters specific to the needs and interests of the various sectoral associations operating under it would be handled by them. This helped improve and increase communication between the travel and tourism sector operators and various stakeholders, including government, the media, the wider business community and various people and organisations across the world.
“Since that time, the ZCT has undertaken a vast portfolio of work and has achieved enormous success in a great many areas. Key to that success has been the willingness of so many operators to give of their time to serve on sub-committees, the Board and executive committee. We have also been fortunate to have had the services of a number of people on the staff who have competently followed up on all the action required from deliberations of the elected members,” Hwingwiri said.
Speaking during dinner for the newly named organisation, Priscah Mupfumira, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry said she valued and enjoyed a good relationship with the leadership of ZCT
“In a relationship of any kind it is not possible for partners to always agree with each other, but what marks a mature and responsible relationship is the ability to foster understanding and to overcome disagreement with respect. That is what we have had and what I hope we shall always have.
“As you all know, the past 18 years have been challenging for our sector, but tourism has survived and has enjoyed a genuine restoration of positive growth during the past year or so. As we look ahead we are hopeful for another long period of sustained and perhaps exponential growth, leading to travel and tourism taking its place as one of the most important – if not the most important – economic sectors within Zimbabwe,” Mupfumira said.
Developing countries across the world are looking to the development of tourism as a key economic pillar within economies, especially in those countries where this sector has played second fiddle to other sectors such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Many are spearheading initiatives that will result in travel and tourism being the pre-eminent economic activity in the country.
Thus travel and tourism is responsible for 50 percent of GDP in developing countries such as Zimbabwe. In terms of employment, national development, foreign currency earnings and international relations, tourism underpins the economic transformation of Zimbabwe.
Travel and tourism is dependent on several factors, including sustainability, responsible growth, national stability, saturation marketing and high levels of support and co-operation from the entire nation.
In the same spirit of partnership that has tempered the past 30 years, we now look ahead to the future, and to a realisation of exciting dreams. The ZCT is creating a whole new vision for itself as this important milestone of 30 years is celebrated, and has decided to rebrand as the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, reinforcing understanding and promoting awareness of its role as the voice of the business element of the travel and tourism sector.
The TBCZ is expected to play a valuable role in ensuring that public and private sectors work together and in communicating the views, ideas, suggestions and demands of the operators. Operators in various fields of endeavour were encouraged to maintain membership of TBCZ and its sectoral associations.
The TBCZ has enjoyed a large measure of co-operation and support from many people and organisations, including direct members, sectoral associations, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, National Parks and Wildlife Management, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, other ministries and government agencies.
It paid tribute to past chairmen and presidents of the ZCT, among them David Chapman, who was key to the planning that led to the formation of ZCT and became its first chairman, later first chief executive. As the person who is probably the longest-serving travel and tourism personality in the country, the TBCZ expressed its gratitude to him for his foresight, determination and drive, and presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the inaugural ZCT Tourism Achievers Awards.
The past year seen a genuine resurgence of tourism, with increased arrivals and income for the first time in almost two decades.
“This results in part from the work of the ZCT yesterday, today and tomorrow, and it is important for us to recognise that ZCT must continue to play a vital role in creating the environment in which travel and tourism can exist and grow. We in ZCT are ready and willing to play our part when and where we are called on to do so. We recognise that leadership requires us to be active rather than passive, pro-active rather than reactive and positive rather than negative. This we are and this we shall continue to be,” Hwingiri added.
The rebranding sets the foundation for things to come as the organisation focuses on the coming 30 years.
“We are hard workers, we are achievers and we are people with vision and drive. We are the business operators of the travel and tourism sector and we call on our operators to join with those of us already active in the TBCZ to link up and partner us as we move into the future. When the TBCZ succeeds, so does every operator, so does travel and tourism, and, indeed, so does the entire country. Our goal is to serve our sector and give a voice, and our vision is of a travel and tourism sector that is sustainable, successful and effective.”