ZIMBABWE has adopted a new strategy designed to develop and promote tourism in the country, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has said.
The new concept — called Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (Mice) — comes soon after Zimbabwe in August co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly with Zambia.
Mice tourism is a type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for a particular purpose, ranging from conferences, meetings, exhibitions and conventions, among others.
This has become a major marketing tool and a key driver of destination development, an important generator of income, employment and foreign investment.
ZTA chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke last week expressed confidence in Zimbabwe’s potential to drive Mice tourism business which will in turn posit immense benefits to the country.
“I have no doubt that developing Mice tourism would bring benefits, not only to the tourism sector, but also to general trade and the promotion of the image of Zimbabwe,” said Kaseke.
Kaseke said Zimbabwe has almost all the necessary elements to strongly develop Mice tourism, ranging from social and political stability, meetings infrastructure in place, convention centres, resorts that meet international standards, as well as an attractive culture.
The ZTA boss said Zimbabwe would next month host a Mice forum aimed at exploring various opportunities and benefits presented by this type of tourism.
Kaseke said beyond economic benefits, the Mice tourism industry presents opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking, capacity building and regional cooperation.
The forum is also anticipated to engender a healthy and open discussion on ways of enhancing Zimbabwe’s capacity and capability in driving this type of tourism business.
The platform will bring together a panel of global and local experts, tourism players and other relevant stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences on the issues of Mice tourism business.
Speakers to highlight the forum include the chief executive of Gaining Edge, Gary Grimmer, an international Mice consultant who has worked with leading MICE destinations such as Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Berlin.
Others include Glen Byrom, former owner of Green Route; Daniel Chigaruthe, vice-chairperson of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company and the ZCT president, Glen Stutchbury.