VP Chiwenga with Minister Mupfumira after the launch of the tourism master plan and handbook
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has praised Operation Restore Legacy for improving the tourism sector which he said was now thriving due to improved perception of the country from abroad.
Speaking during the launch of the National Tourism Master Plan at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel last Friday, Chiwenga said the country had recorded a significant rise in foreign tourist arrivals since the military-assisted removal of Robert Mugabe from power.
"In 2017, the country received a total of 2 422 930 tourist arrivals which represent a 12 percent increase from 2 167 686 tourists received in 2016. In the first quarter of 2018, the country has already received increased arrivals with, for example, Victoria Falls registering over 17 000 increase from a baseline of 8 000 in air traffic arrivals at Victoria Falls International Airport from January to April. This represents a 48 percent increase in arrivals compared to the same period last year.
"All this is happening on the backdrop of the peaceful transition of the new dispensation led by His Excellency the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde E.D Mnangagwa, which has totally changed the image and perception of Zimbabwe from a country perceived to be at war with itself to an exceptionally safe and peaceful country," Chiwenga said.
The event also saw the launch of a handbook on and manual on Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTES), two documents that Chiwenga said will contribute to the vision of making Zimbabwe a middle income economy free of poverty and corruption by year 2030.
"In this regard, I therefore wish to commend partners such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) that joined hands with the government through the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry to resuscitate Community Based Tourism Enterprises amongst them Chesvingo (Karanga) Cultural Village," he said.
JICA resident representative, Shumon Yoshiara and AfDB programmes manager, Naome Chimbetete also spoke at the occasion and praised the cooperation between government and partners for the development of tourism in the country.top news