Nesia Mhaka Herald Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and its partners have embarked on an aggressive campaign to promote local travel and tour packages to boost domestic tourism, with the roll out done last week ahead of Valentine’s Day on Friday.
ZTA spokesperson Godfrey Koti said last week the organisation had successfully forged partnerships with tourism operators to come up with packages for the domestic market.
“We know the importance of digital marketing and as the authority responsible for marketing the tourism industry, we have collaborated with various operators to further create visibility around the domestic tourism product,” he said.
“In the short term, our target is movement around public holidays and celebratory days of note such as Valentine’s Day. The response from industry players has been resounding and they too have confirmed an increase in enquiries on their Valentine’s Day packages.”
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Clive Chinwada said there was need for the sector to be aggressive in its approach to the domestic market.
He said there was need to exploit digital platforms in promoting the destination to both the international and domestic market.
“As HAZ, we are alive to the importance of a solid digital footprint by destination Zimbabwe as well the various tourism regions within the country,” he said.
“We applaud the work being done by ZTA using a variety of platforms and would like to urge the authority to sustain and even become more aggressive. This is critical in ensuring that the Zimbabwean story goes out unadulterated.
“Part of ZTA’s role is to ensure that there is a product for every segment of the market. There has been a general outcry that the destination is expensive for locals.”
He said the domestic tourism promotion drive was to showcase both low and high end products with special emphasis on encouraging the industry to service the middle-income market.
Mr Mandla Mataure, an operator and managing director of Chimanimani Hotel, expressed gratitude and optimism over the initiative.
“I think it is a fantastic move,” he said.
“Many people within Zimbabwe know so much more about countries that are within the region and further abroad. But not many of them know how many beautiful places are within our own borders.
“So, the idea will be fantastic in terms of getting more people, more Zimbabweans to travel around the country and explore the various destinations that we have.
“It is a good initiative from ZTA and we are looking forward to hosting more locals at our place of business.”