ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has called on the tourism players and other stakeholders in Kariba to work together in making the town great.
Kariba which has a great potential for tourism has been facing a lot of challenges which has seen it losing its yesteryear glamour and glory.
Some of the challenges include a high rate of unemployment as the town mostly relies on tourism which is not performing well, absenteeism of Ministry of Tourism and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority among many other state entities, lack of support and adequate marketing.
Speaking at a stakeholders interface meeting in Kariba, Minister Mupfumira said there is a need for a collective effort in restoring the beauty of Kariba.
“We must commit to constructing a beautiful Kariba tourism destination, with our minds and hearts collectively geared toward poverty eradication in our communities and economic participation of our local community in the tourism economy that arises out of the development of the industry in Kariba.
“Sustainable tourism development can only be achieved through the positioning of our people as active participants in the tourism economy and not just passive onlookers to a tourism product and resource which God inherently bequeathed to them.
“The beauty of tourism and nature, ladies and gentleman, is that it is not manufactured in a factory, but rather it is assigned to us by God and we ought to harness it to uplift the lives of our communities.
“Having said that let me assure you that as your ministry together with our tourism marketing arm the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, we are ready to make Kariba Great again,” she said.
The Minister also took the opportunity to urge the Kariba community to embrace technology is their marketing drive adding that the ministry is as an advanced stage in developing its digital marketing strategy and that Kariba should be part of it.
According to Mupfumira, the government is aware of the connectivity challenges in Kariba and also the issue of road infrastructure adding that she will engage her colleague ministers to find a solution.
“We are also aware that Kariba as a tourism destination is grappling with challenges of air connectivity that is critical for the development of its majestic tourism economy.
“In this regard, my ministry is in touch with our national airlines and other private players airlines in order to service the Kariba route and we believe that the introduction of many airlines into Kariba will certainly unlock the tourism opportunities of the town to the world at large.
“On the issue of road infrastructure, my Ministry will engage our colleagues from the Ministry of Transport and collectively work towards ways of ensuring that the road infrastructure ensures the smooth functioning of tourism in Kariba,” she said.
Tourism players in Kariba are also affected by the high cost of re-tooling and acquisition of equipment and capital goods and the Minister urged them to take advantage of the various facilities availed by government and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.