A collaborative team made up of like-minded tourism stakeholders has been established under a shared vision towards realisation of Vision 2030.
The establishment of Team Tourism means stakeholders bring their expertise on one platform as opposed to operating in silos.
Officially confirming the establishment of the team in Harare today, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira, said tourism was highly a collaborative industry.
“I just came from Kenya a few days ago and if anything, I learnt a lot about this very issue of collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism and particularly the Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport.
“We are therefore here in order to formally establish a collaborative team, a team that we are calling Team Tourism. The strength if this team whatever name we might decide to call it is a shared vision,” Minister Mupfumira said.
She said her ministry had completed the National tourism Sector Strategy whose vision is: “To achieve a sustainable tourism industry, offering distinctive and inclusive visitor experiences in a unique, innovative and sustainable manner.”
The thematic pillars of the strategy are:
Facilitation and Access
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Human Capital Development
Policy and Governance.
It is through this team that tourism in Zimbabwe, Minister Mupfumira said, would reach great heights through your contribution and support.
She pointed out key areas that include destination image, security an heath matters, immigration, Civil Avian Authority of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe as well as Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
Regarding immigration, Minister Mupfumira bemoaned the lack of uniVISA as a destination marketing tool. She said she managed to put at least 29 countries from group C to B which means the countries are issued VISAs on arrival as a positive move.
She also commended the refurbishment held at Victoria Falls Airport, the Bulawayo Airport and the work currently being done at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
“Government is putting in huge and immense resources for this infrastructural development. It is our hope as Government that these airports will not be while elephants,” she said.
She said she would engage the Ministry of Transport on the provision of air services to the airports.
Turning to Air Zimbabwe, Minister Mupfumira said Diasporas were concerned about the national airline.
She said the issue of connectivity was of importance to tourism development.
“What is happening at the Air Zimbabwe is not good to all of us not only in the tourism sector but in the business sector in general. I know my colleague, the Minister of Transport, is working hard to put the right strategy for Air Zimbabwe and we will all be happy to see Air Zimbabwe playing its role as our national carrier in the development of our tourism sector,” she said.
She said there was a misplaced opinion that Air Zimbabwe must be profitable.
“We in tourism believe Air Zimbabwe must be viable but to us viability is not profitability. When we say Air Zimbabwe must be viable we mean it must operate efficiently, serve its customers well, must choose its routes prudently in consultation with us in the tourism sector,” Minister Mupfumira said.
She said a vibrant Air Zimbabwe would attract other international airlines.
Minister Mupfumira reiterated that the ZTA should take a leading role as mandated by the Tourism Act.
She said she was delighted that the ZTA chairman Mr Majuru hosted the inaugural meeting and hoped there would be many more such meetings.
In his welcoming remarks at the meeting held at his resident in Harare Mr Majuru said Team Tourism was geared up to make the sector vibrant again.
He said the team would bring their skills and knowledge to develop the tourism sector.
Attending the meeting were tourism heavyweights among them ZTA chief executive officer, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, Senior Police Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ), Mr Emmanuel Fundira, Dr Shingi Munyeza, Zimbabwe Council of Tourism chief executive Mr Paul Matamisa, CAAZ general manager David Chaota among other notables.