ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira who is leading a Zimbabwean delegation in the United Kingdom says people in the diaspora can play a significant role in the country’s tourism sector.
Zimbabwe has over four million of its citizens in the diaspora with the majority said to be in South Africa, followed by the United Kingdom, Australia, United States of America, and Botswana among many others.
Through the tourism sector, Zimbabwe has been putting a lot of efforts in trying to reach out to them to consider coming back home as both tourists and investors in various sectors of the economy especially the tourism sector.
Government has already designated various tourism destinations in the country as special economic zones where investors will enjoy various incentives among many other things.
In a statement, Minister Mupfumira who is selling this idea to diasporans in the United Kingdom through various road shows said they are trying to reach out to Zimbabweans and other people in the diaspora with these investment opportunities that have come courtesy of the new dispensation.
“The main theme is to reach out to Zimbabweans and Diasporas of all backgrounds, religious communities, academic, media, tourism trade, tourism organizations, tourism associations, airlines, tourist boards, embassies, conservation organizations, youth, United Kingdom government and others engaged in economic development.
“The Diasporas together with the wider stakeholders have a huge role to play in releasing the huge potential of the tourism sector for socio-economic benefits.
“The roadshow is an event created to facilitate an exchange of ideas and resources that spur interest, inspire collaboration, and attract strategic investments in the Zimbabwe tourism sector for its sustainable growth. The roadshow events offer participants in the United Kingdom and the world an opportunity to interact on new development,” she said.
This comes as President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that Zimbabwe was in a new era and open for business and has appealed to the abundant skilled diasporas to come home to Zimbabwe, whenever, to look for business opportunities and help to rebuild the country.
Rita Likukuma who is currently the acting chief executive at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the objective of the road shows is to promote tourism and stimulating tourism strategic investments towards the Zimbabwe tourism sector.
“Of essence to this mission is the objective of facilitating an exchange of ideas and resources that spur interest, inspire collaboration, and attract strategic investments among the Zimbabwe diaspora community which according to the United Kingdom National Statistics Office (NSO) 2018 Report accounts for more than 123 000.
“It is, however, imperative to note that during the said mission, the Honourable Minister Mupfumira will officiate the opening of the new consul and tourism office in Scotland.
“The office is meant to strengthen destination promotion in the region which will subsequently impact on tourism traffic to Zimbabwe.
“More so, the Minister is expected to launch the inaugural edition of the Zimthrive initiative which will see a congregation of Diasporas in Zimbabwe from different source markets in April 2020,” said Likukuma.
The United Kingdom is among Zimbabwe’s top European market in terms of arrivals contribution currently providing about 72 029 arrivals.
The road shows are scheduled to run from 9th to the 19th of July and will be held in such towns as London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Huntingdon, Manchester and Birmingham.