Zimbabwe and Zambia have agreed to set up a joint tourism facilitation committee which will coordinate combined marketing campaigns and deliberate on issues affecting the critical sector as the two friendly countries seek to unlock full potential of the hospitality industry.

A one day bilateral meeting held in Livingstone, Zambia saw officials from both sides of the Zambezi River stressing the need for increased collaborations in development of tourism within the two countries.

The meeting, which was held under the auspices of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two countries, ended with tourism officials agreeing on the establishment of a joint tourism facilitation committee.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Executive, Mr Karikoga Kaseke described the meeting as a success, adding that joint marketing efforts are critical in unlocking the potential of the tourism industry for the benefit of both countries.

“When we met at the tourism indaba in Durban [South Africa], a number of issues were raised and l am happy that all the contentious issues were resolved amicably during today’s meeting. It was also resolved that a joint tourism facilitation committee be set up,” he said.

The proposed joint tourism facilitation committee will comprise officials from the Department of Immigration, revenue authorities, police as well as tourism operators from both countries with the first meeting expected to be held in June.

Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosted the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly and the two countries are currently implementing the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) univisa project to ease tourist travel back and forth between the two nations.