Zim, Zambia review tourism agreements
Senior officials from Zimbabwe and Zambia have met to review progress on the implementation of the agreed areas of cooperation in the tourism sector.
The second meeting, held under the auspices of the Zimbabwe-Zambia Joint Tourism Technical Committee (JTTC), took place from October 31 to November 2, in Livingstone, Zambia.
Permanent Secretary for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi, co-chaired the crucial meeting, with Zambia’s permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mr Evans Muhanga.
The key objective of the meeting was to review progress on the implementation of the agreed areas of cooperation from the first JTTC meeting of 2018 and the special JTTC indaba held in 2019.
Both meetings were held in Zimbabwe. Areas of cooperation are derived from the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Tourism signed by the two governments in April 2012.
The JTTC is a platform to facilitate the exchange of experiences, expertise and ideas to support and deepen tourism cooperation between the two countries.
In his remarks, Ambassador Faranisi said the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) had designated the World Tourism Day 2022 theme as, “Rethinking Tourism”, and as such, the JTTC meeting provided the key for both countries to join hands in rebuilding their tourism industries following the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The JTTC discussions focused on cross-border tourism opportunities and challenges faced in the tourism capitals of Victoria Falls and Livingstone Resort Town.
In addition, the JTTC explored a number of tourism cooperation areas, among others culture, heritage, historical tourism and conservation, development and promotion of tourism, joint research and planning, community-based tourism development, quality assurance, human resources development, hosting of mega events and collaborations between the two neighbouring countries.
The two permanent secretaries underscored the need for both countries to manage and safeguard their shared natural and cultural tourism resources and assets, in a sustainable manner for posterity.
With the deepening of tourism cooperation through the JTTC platform, relations between the two countries are poised for growth and the co-chairs committed to leave a positive tourism legacy for future generations.
The two permanent secretaries reiterated the need for technical officials from both countries to immediately start implementing in earnest, all the agreed areas of cooperation in accordance with identified timeframes and report on progress made in the third JTTC meeting, which would be hosted by Zimbabwe in the first half 2023.
Zimbabwe’s delegation also comprised acting chief director for Tourism and Hospitality Management Mr Douglas Mavhembu, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief operating officer Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, other senior Government officials and the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe represented by Mr Farai Chimba.