The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says promoting community-based tourism in Manicaland province could generate income and help marginalised communities develop if it was properly managed and marketed. Manicaland has a number of
tourist areas, including Matendera Ruins in Buhera, Pungwe scenic view and Nyangombe Falls in Nyanga that have failed to attract visitors due to lack of publicity.
ZTA Manicaland area manager Daniel Mumpande said they were working towards promoting tourist sites so that local people could benefit from the returns. He cited Matendera Ruins in Buhera, saying that if it were properly marketed, it could attract tourists from across the world. The income could be ploughed back into community development projects such as road rehabilitation and new clinics and schools.
“The whole idea of focusing on community tourism is to give a tourist an opportunity to experience the way of life for the local people,” said Mumpande. “Communities are poised to benefit from the gate takings as well as the sale of crafts and sculptures.”
Mumpande said ZTA was working with Buhera Rural District Council and the national museum and monuments section to prepare for the first Matendera festival, to be held in August. The event would help market the attraction to members of the public.
Communities in Eastern Highlands have complained that they don’t benefit from the revenue brought in by visitors to the area’s natural wonders.