walter mzembi 01-02-11.jpgThe Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry has intensified efforts in formulating the national tourism policy with a view of redefining the industry so as to enable the entire country to become a tourism development zone.

Academics from various universities, tourism players, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority senior executives and the Tourism Ministry executives have started consultative meetings that will enable the sector to come up with a roadmap national tourism policy that defines where the sector is coming from and where it is going in the next decade.

Officially opening one of the consultative meetings in Harare, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Cde Walter Mzembi said the formulation of the tourism policy is an important project for the development of the sector.

“The policy should be able to create investor interest and put in place a tourism policy that diversifies the tourism product,” he said.

While Zimbabwe has relied on prime attractions such as Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe and Kariba, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Executive Director, Mr Karikoga Kaseke and the Zimbabwe Council of Tourism, Mr Tendai Madzivanyika say there is need for diversity so as to include agro- based tourism, health tourism, religious tourism and cultural tourism.

RETOSA Chairperson, Dr Sylvester Maunganidze said the current tourism policy is based on high value tourists and low volume to few iconic places which should be changed to encompass everyone. 

The tourism sector is one of the four pillars anchoring economic growth in Zimbabwe after agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s 2011 budget, the tourism sector will play a pivotal role in helping the country register a real GDP growth rate of 9,3% for the year 2011 up from last year’s 8,1%.