By Elvis Dumba
Calls have been made on tourism players to come up with plans that embrace people with disabilities in the sector.
The call was made by Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mary Mliswa-Chikoka who said people with disabilities have been sidelined in the tourism sector whilst they also yearn to be active participants.
“I urge players in the tourism sector to bear in mind the need to address the needs of people with disabilities when they develop their tourism products. Disability inclusion makes people with disabilities enjoy our tourist destinations. We need the requisite infrastructure that allows inclusive participation of people with disabilities as well as tourism professionals who can serve this important sector of our community,” she said.
Mliswa-Chikokwa made the sentiments when she officiated at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Mashonaland West Province Youth in Tourism Empowerment Entrepreneurship Workshop in Chinhoyi held last week at Chinhoyi Caves.
She said the tourism sector should embrace the government’s mantra for ensuring that no place or person is left behind with tourism being a key contributor to the country’s development.
“With the call by our President Emmerson Mnangagwa that no person or place should be left behind in developing our country in all sectors, players in the tourism sector should ensure people with disabilities are not left out as they also need to enjoy our country’s tourist products. This means hotels and tourist attractions need to ensure they are easily accessible to people with disabilities,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said it has lined up various initiatives that will see an increase in tourist arrivals in the province.
Tapiwa Mpofu, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Regional Manager for Mashonaland West Province said the authority has lined up various initiatives that will increase tourist arrivals to the province’s tourist attractions such as Kariba, Chinhoyi Caves, and other tourist destinations.