Zimbabwe will focus on tourism as a tool to protect biodiversity and the ecosystem by balancing infrastructure development and economic growth with the maintenance, conservation and protection of the vast natural resources the country is endowed with.
The World Tourism Month was launched in Harare recently, with government promising to put in place necessary stimulus packages,Â including funding to consolidate the growth of local tourism which has recorded phenomenal growth this year.
Speaking at the World Tourism Day breakfast meeting in Harare, Guest of Honour, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Cde Francis Nhema said since Zimbabwe is endowed with vast natural resources that most countries in the world no longer have, it is importan to guard the natural resources jealously and protect the wild life and natural wonders through tourism.
â€œOne of the areas where biodiversity needs to be maintained is in the conservation of wildlife as they constitute the greatest attraction the country has as a tourist destination,â€ said Cde Nhema.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said there is need for a balance between tourism and biodiversity considering that research has revealed that ecosystem species are being lost at a minimum rate of 100 times than that of natural extinction adding that the process is irreversible.
This year the tourism industry is expected to contribute 15%Â to the Gross Domestic Product and at full capacity it is expected to contribute between 20% and 25%.