By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE has launched the UK Diaspora Homecoming Tour which is aimed at encouraging its citizens to visit the country’s tourist destinations as well as investing in the tourism sector.
The country is offering numerous investment opportunities in the tourism sector and to make its statement bold it has designated certain areas of the country into Special Economic Zones for the tourism sector.
Investment opportunities include infrastructure development, product development as well as services related to tourism.
According to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke, Zimbabwe is under-roomed for the anticipated tourism boom which he says has come earlier than expected hence the need for more investment.
Addressing delegates at the UK Diaspora Homecoming Tour launch, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said Zimbabwe offers vast opportunities which the community can take advantage of.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt that the Zimbabwe Diaspora is absolutely key to achieving tourism development and will continue to play a critical role in our efforts to revive our economy. The government is cognisant of the role that its people in the diaspora can play in the economy.
“As outlined by Ambassador Katsande in my last visit to London we earnestly would like to work very closely with this very important community and we would like to take this further and involve you in our investment drive in all sectors of the economy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want us to end the year on a happy note, a happy note by launching the Diaspora Homecoming Tour which I am inviting all the diaspora to come home and seek vast opportunities that your country is offering to the world,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira added that government looks at every Zimbabwean in the diaspora as the brand ambassador of the country and is expecting to close with them.
“From a tourism point of view, all people in the diaspora we look at you like our brand ambassadors. We expect you to work very closely with us and spread the good news about your country; I know some arrangements are taking place between RwandAir and our embassy here to help in this homecoming tour which is most likely to take place during the first quarter of next year.
“Your Excellency the Ambassador, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, the industry partners, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to now officially launch the UK Diaspora Homecoming Tour by saying to our diaspora visit your country, visit Zimbabwe-A world of wonders,” she said.
According to the minister, Zimbabwe is a very attractive destination with UNESCO World Heritage sites that include the Great Zimbabwe Monuments, Matobo Hills National Park, the Khami Ruins, the great Mana Pools and the Victoria Falls.