By Daniel Chigundu
STARLIGHT Global company director Shanice Lindsay says more people in the diaspora are warming up to the idea of visiting Zimbabwe and that she is hoping to bring even more next year.
Lindsay, who is from the UK, came to Zimbabwe in March 2017 for the first time and I fell in love with the country as what she saw was different from what she had seen being portrayed in the international.
In an interview, Lindsay said what she saw compelled her to be a tourism ambassador for Zimbabwe such that she was able to convince about 25 to come along in September last year and this year she is back with a bigger group.
“Last year I came in September with 25 people, I went back and we talked about how wonderful it was they all became ambassadors and so this year we are back again with 35 people and people who couldn’t come this year are saying they still want to come next year.
“This year its slightly different because we have linked up with guys from the US and we are hoping that next year we are going to have the USA, UK huge trip to Zimbabwe it’s been endorsed by your Minister of Tourism so we are absolutely delighted and we are hoping it will be even endorsed by your President himself,” she said.
Lindsay added that the diaspora is full of people with talent and money to invest and African countries should just open their doors like what Ghana has done.
“Ghanaian President welcomed diasporas he is saying to diaspora come bring your skill, bring your money, bring your talent come home.
“They recognise there is a huge diaspora out there that is potentially an asset for the country so they are opening their doors and we are hoping Zimbabwe will do the same,” she said.
According to Lindsay, she is a descendant of one of the taken away from Africa about 400 years and coming to Zimbabwe was like returning home, coming back to Africa.
She said there are millions of people like her who were born outside Africa but still see Africa as their home and have Africa in their hearts and want to come and see the beauty and nature.
Zimbabwe under the new dispensation has literary open its doors to potential investors buoyed by the mantra “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.
As if that was not enough, the government went an extra mile by designating Victoria Falls a Special Economic Zone for tourism.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke is on record telling the country’s tourism sector that it should expect a tourism boom earlier that was planned.