ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) says it is ready to implement ideas and proposals on domestic tourism that came out of the stakeholder workshops in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.
Domestic tourism has not been performing well in the country owing to various challenges that range from poor marketing strategies by the industry and also exorbitant pricing structure at a time when most people have very little disposable income which they would rather channel towards basic commodities as food and rentals.
In a statement, ZTA head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said the industry was positive and came up with ideas on how the Domestic Tourism Strategy should be implemented.
“An action matrix on ideas generated during the workshop is now available to be implemented by the Industry, ZTA, Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality, other government departments and media just to mention a few.
“Parks and Wildlife Management Authority manage the key tourism attractions which leisure tourism in Zimbabwe revolves that comprise 13% of Zimbabwe’s total land with wildlife and scenery. Zim Parks is, therefore, a catalyst or enabler of leisure tourism in Zimbabwe. The synergies between the two entities will enable both parastatals to achieve their mandates.
“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zim Parks have agreed on co-branding on both print and electronic media and website linkages have already been done. Joint schools engagements with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority have been conducted. Other areas of discussion are upgrading of standards for accommodation within the Parks Estate,” he said.
Koti added that in order to give citizens an opportunity to visit tourist resorts in the country parks are working on a proposal for a free day into the Parks Estate.
The Domestic Tourism Strategy will also see ZTA and National Museums collaborating on a project titled Heritage in Focus on ZTV, joint publicity programs through road shows together and also joint publicity for the International Museums Day on 18 May 2018.
The media industry and tour operators are also set to benefit from familiarization tours of historical sites that have been scheduled as part of an awareness campaign of what the country offers in terms of tourism sites.
According to Koti, the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) has been identified as a partner in launching the Domestic Tourism Campaign under the banner FLY NOW, PAY LATER, were all civil servants and Zimbabweans that can show proof of regular income will enjoy the benefits of flying and paying for their tickets after they have already travelled.
ZTA and the CSB have agreed to partner and this will result in the provision of media familiarization tours and Koti said “a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed on 22 March 2018 at ZTA offices at 1430. Media familiarisation tours and the provision of domestic packages are being put in place.
“The meetings with CSTB culminated in the crafting of an MOU which will clearly pronounce areas of interest. In order to have a buy-in with the Civil Servants, the APEX Council has been engaged as well.
“The domestic tourism team is carrying out a domestic tourism awareness program to schools throughout the country. This is to resuscitate the culture of domestic travel. Young people are major decision makers in the buying process hence the old adage ‘Catch them young’ rings true. Presentations on the storyline ‘The dream I had’ has started in earnest as presentations have been done to two schools so far,” he said