Runesu Gwidi Masvingo Correspondent
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has pledged to back the ongoing identification and enshrinement of Zimbabwe’s cultural and historical sites to help revive the tourism sector which has potential to be one of the key pillars of the country’s economy.
The move comes at a time when the tourism sector has been on the rebound buoyed by the country’s improving international perception, courtesy of the new dispensation that saw President Mnangagwa assuming office.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira last week said the international community was helping in the ongoing efforts to revive the tourism industry.
Minister Mupfumira said the move by UNWTO showed the world has full support and confidence in President Mnangagwa’s administration.
“The UNWTO has undertaken to boost Zimbabwe’s tourism industry, with particular focus on places that bear historical significance to the country.
“The normalisation of relations between Zimbabwe and other foreign nations being spearheaded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been instrumental for the support we are getting from the world,” said Cde Mupfumira.
She said Government wanted to promote domestic tourism by turning sites with historical significance to the country into tourist attractions.
“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and UNWTO are working very hard to ensure our God-given natural endowments in the country such as wildlife are also being utilised to the maximum for tourism development. Tourism is one of the key pillars for our economy’s revival,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira said her ministry was also closely working with historians and cultural experts in the enshrinement of tourist attraction sites.
Turning to Masvingo, Minister Mupfumira said the recent launch of the provincial tourism master plan would drive tourism development and make sure the sector makes huge contributions to the province’s Gross Domestic Product.