By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke said he is hopeful that government will quickly contain cholera outbreak so that Harare International Carnival preparations can proceed.
ZTA intends to hold roadshows across the country to publicise the 5th edition of the carnival but is not able to do so because public gatherings were temporarily suspended until cholera outbreak has been contained.
Addressing stakeholders at the New Ambassador Hotel, Dr Kaseke said if public gathering remains banned up to the first week of October it will be difficult to hold the carnival.
“If we are not in a position to have public gatherings before or up to the 1st week of October I think it might be folly to have our carnival on 20th of October, because there won’t be time to do road shows because road shows are public gatherings there won’t be time.
“We can advertise but the carnival need road shows to take palace, the road shows we held last year proved to be helpful and proved to be a puller and people where really pulled to the carnival.
“So we are very hopeful that by the end of this month or latest first week of October the public gatherings will be allowed and the cholera outbreak would be under total control,” he said.
The ZTA boss added that he has been getting inquiries from the media with regards to the issues and that he has been telling them that “we believed that our government will take control and charge of cholera and by end of this month we are hopeful that something about this cholera would have been done and we would have been given the green light to hold public meetings and gatherings”.
Harare International Carnival is one of the various marketing strategies that have been employed by ZTA to try and lure tourists to the country.
According to Dr Kaseke, the carnival has the potential to generate a lot of revenue for the tourism sector if it is supported, adding that the 2017 edition generated around US$30 million for the sector.
Dr Kaseke said the intention is to grow the carnival such that it will at least generate hundreds of million dollars for the country in the same way the Rio Carnival is doing for Brazil.