The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry will this Thursday officially launch the National Tourism Policy at the Celebration Centre in Harare. The launch will be presided over by the Vice President Cde Joice T. R. Mujuru, who is also the Patron of the Zimbabwe Tourism sector.
Addressing media in Harare, the Minister of Tourism & Hospitality Industry Eng. Walter Mzembi said that the country’s first ever National Tourism Policy emphasizes that Tourism is government led, private sector driven and community welfare oriented.“The policy seeks to re–define the definition of tourism which has in the past been defined as based on a euro-centric zoning approach along a constricted band from Victoria Falls, Kariba, Masvingo and Matopos. Through the Policy, there is need introduce a new range of tourism products to diversify our tourism products. Our tourism products are to include among others religious, agro, industrial, historical and township tourism. The policy also aims at bringing on broader participation of people into mainstream tourism by identifying domestic tourism as the cradle upon which regional and international tourism rest,” he added.
Other issues addressed by the National Tourism Policy include bottlenecks to travel such as air connectivity, restrictive visa regimes and processes, poor road access and poor utilities which all restrict the enjoyment of the tourism product. The Minister also stated that the move to officially launch the National Tourism Policy at the Celebration Centre is deliberate so as to exploit new tourism niche markets like religious tourism. Minister Mzembi also revealed that Celebration Centre will also be officially designated as a Visitor Attraction Religious Tourism facility.
The National Tourism Policy is the work of Team Tourism which is a tripartite consisting of the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry (MOTHI), Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT).