By Daniel Chigundu
Cabinet has announced that it has approved plans to renovate infrastructure at the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site, in a bid to attract more tourists.
The renovations will be undertaken under a cooperation project between the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and the French Development Agency (AFD).
Great Zimbabwe which is in Masvingo Province is one of the key tourist attractions in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Cabinet revealed that the renovations are coming to address some of the challenges that were unearthed by a feasibility study that was conducted.
‘’The nation is hereby informed that the project intends to improve the infrastructure at the Site as well as enhancing capacity building, economic development and cultural empowerment of the local communities.
‘’The nation is further informed that, following a feasibility study carried out by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, the following major challenges faced by Great Zimbabwe Heritage Site were identified: Documentation and conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage; Interpretation and visitor facilities; Management and promotion of additional tourism attractions; and Management and protection of the Great Zimbabwe Heritage Site and its physical and social environment.
‘’The cooperation ensures the development and renovation of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site, mobilization and capacity building of the National Museums and Monuments and development needs of communities around Great Zimbabwe. It is envisaged that upon completion, the site will attract more domestic and foreign tourists and make them stay longer at the site,’’ read the 38th Cabinet meeting statement.
Great Zimbabwe has the ability and capacity to attract both local and international visitors who are interested in heritage tourism.
Some of the tourists who love heritage tourism are the Chinese.
Zimbabwe has over the years been trying to attract as much Chinese tourists as possible.
To make its statement clear, it went as far as implementing the China-Ready training for the tourism sector and has been making efforts to have its presents in the giant Asian country.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), China is the biggest contributor of outbound tourists and was going to maintain the trend before the COVID-19 struck.
A group of Chinese tourists once visited Great Zimbabwe under the Touchroad International deal and they expressed excitement.