Mashonaland East hosts Tourism Day

Rejoice Makoni

Herald Correspondent

Zimbabwe today joins the rest of the world in celebrating the World Tourism Day focusing on promoting small to medium tourism business and community-based enterprises among others with the main celebrations in Mutoko, Mashonaland East.

The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry declared the month of September as a tourism month to create awareness on the importance of the tourism sector to the economic wellbeing of the nation.

In a statement Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Babra Rwodzi said the celebrations would be hosted in rotation in line with the thrust of “leaving no one and no place behind”.

“As part of promoting this year’s theme the Ministry will promote small to medium enterprise tourism business, religion tourism, community-based tourism enterprises such as rural and township tourism, sports tourism and environment sustainable governance issues,” she said.

“The performance of the travel and tourism sector globally has improved significantly during the period 2022 to 2023 after Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Zimbabwe has witnessed a notable increase in tourist arrivals, receipts and  investments. 

“During the first half of 2023, the country registered an increase of 62 percent in international tourist arrivals from 366 062 in 2022 to 591 524 in 2023.

“The substantial rise in tourist arrivals is attributed to a number of factors including the increase of travel and trade in the region, the ongoing global tourism recovery and the enhanced accessibility to Zimbabwe facilitated by improved transport infrastructure and introduction of new airlines into the country.”

Minister Rwodzi said Government’s engagement and re-engagement and tourism promotion resulted in destination endorsements positioning Zimbabwe as a destination of choice.

“The peaceful political campaigns before and during the harmonised elections period, worked in favour of the tourism sector as the country proved to be a peaceful and safe destination. This was augmented by the persistent calm environment after the election. 

“Amongst the tourism key milestones during the year there is the successful hosting of the SADC Traditional Gastronomy Tourism competitions in Masvingo in May.”

This year’s celebrations are running under the theme; “Tourism and Green Investments” placing emphasis on “investing in people, investing in the planet and investing in prosperity.”

September 27 was set aside by UNWTO to create awareness amongst the international community on the socio-economic benefits derived from the travel and tourism sector together with its entire value   chains.

This year’s celebrations will be held in Mutoko, Mashonaland East and will mark the end of the tourism month  activities.

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