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Inclusive Growth Key to Trend in Global Tourism Sector - Chiwenga

by Maxwell Teedzai
08 Feb 2018 at 13:55hrs | Views
Speaking at the on-going official opening of the Stakeholder Consultative Workshop for the National Toursim Sector Strategy taking place at the Harare International Conference Centre today, Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Gen. (Rtd). Dr Constantino Guveya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga revealed it Mnangagwa's Administration's desire to that the tourism sector deliberately and willingly incorpotrate empowerment of ordinary Zimbabwean youth, women and the disabled and further implored upon Zimbabwe to continue investing not only in bringing more tourists but keeping abreast with the trend in the fast-growing sector.

"We're closing down the curtain when the days when tourism is confined to elite in society but now need to put our heads together to ensure that poverty alleviation is one of the key deliverables of our National Tourism Sector Strategy.

Hon Chiwenga said it was his sincere hope that all stakeholders share their input and ideas in the spirit of development and oneness, which will be a part of New Economic Order tourism marketing brand", said Hon. Chiwenga.

The new Government is keen to ensure that the rights and needs of disadvantaged people, those living with disabilities are vehemently promoted in the tourism sector as enshrined in our New Constitution (Amendment No.20) Act 2013 May 22.

"It is common knowledge that most tourism products remain inaccessible to persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) in contravention of Government inclusive groth path which has seen tourism contributing significantly towards economic growth and enhancing the destination attractiveness and ranking", noted (Rtd) Gen. Constantino Guveya Chiwenga.

For Zimbabwe to achieve the same or surpass it, it is essential that collectively we come up with a strategy that goes beyond the traditional visualisation of a tourist as a traveller in pursuit of leisure. The strategy should ensure that there is a deliberate effort to diversify the tourism product to include our unique culture and heritage.

The Vice President has also urged the private sector which for more than a decade has been shying aware partnership with the tourism sector especially during the Mugabe regime to now priotise innovation and with a common purpose, work closely with Government to aggressively market the country as the global tourist destination of choice.

"The public and private sectors should now work together to promote destination visibility in the online world as we jointly seek to revive the economy for the upliftment of the livelihoods of our people, (including girls and women)", he added.

The Government of Zimbabwe has pledged to do its utmost to ensure facilitation of growth in the strategic sector through the Ministry of Tourism proposal for the establishment of a National Tourism facilitation Committee that will ensure Government deals with bottlenecks and impediments to travel and implement pro-tourism policies.

"I assure the Industry that this proposal is receiving due attention and an appropriate announcement will be made as soon as possible".
There is need for this Stakeholder Consultative Workshop to further ensure that the principles of universal accessibility are promoted in the Tourism sector, and where there are legal and regulatory gaps, as in the case with the current Tourism Act, appropriate amendments be made.

Structural adjustments which have been subsequently brought into the country's public service by the new Mnangagwa administration, are expected to set a new record breaking precedence and assure the nation of triplicated revenue generation from the tourism sector as his government has appointed new personnel on the basis of merit and not partisan patronage.

In the 2018 National Budget, Government recently extended rebate of duty on capital goods imported by tourism operators and suspension of duty on motor vehicles imported by safari operators for a further period of two years. Meanwhile more needs to be done especially in budget allocations by the Ministry of Finance so that it is upped from USD$5.5 to at least USD$50million per annum. Zimbabwe Gender Commission budget is very low, below two million dollars per year. On the other hand the budget allocated to the ministry of Women and Youth at approximately USD$40million is unrealistic considering the level of marginalisation of women and youth in Zimbabwe.
The New Constitution Chapter2 under National Objectives No. 22 on Persons with disabilities states that: In particular, the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must develop programmes for the welfare of persons with physical or mental disabilities, especially work programmes consistent with their capabilities and acceptable to them or their legal representatives; and take appropriate measures to ensure that buildings and amenities to which the public has access are accessible o persons with disabilities.

The Workshop is jointly being attended by Hon Prisca Mupfumira, the Minster of Tourism, Minster of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Hon Miriam Chikukwa, His Worship the Mayor of the City of Harare, Clr Benard Manyenyeni, Dr. Thokozile Chitepo Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr. Tich Hwingiri, President of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism, Mrs. Chipo Mutasa, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Board Chairperson and Board Members, Dr. Karikoga Kaseke, ZTA Chief Executive Officer,  the Principal Administrative Manager in ZTA Chief Executive Office, Shuvai Murumbi, captains of industry, senior government officials, the media and significant others.

The reviewing process of the visa current regime in Zimbabwe is one landmark move government is taking to ease-up travel bottlenecks and end insanity that characterised the tourism during the Mugabe regime.

Source - Maxwell Teedzai

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