Following concerns that tourist attractions in the lowveld have not been much exposed, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has embarked on a drive to publicise these destinations in the southern part of the country.
Late last year, the ZTA held a stakeholders meeting in Masvingo where the organisation’s CEO, Mr Karikoga Kaseke highlighted that they have not done much to market tourist attractions in Masvingo .
In a move to rectify the challenge, ZTA has embarked on an aggressive drive to put tourist attractions in Masvingo on the world map.
The initiative included a media tour where members of the media and ZTA officials visited various tourist sites in the lowveld.
Players in the tourism sector indicated that accessibility is the major impediment which hinders people from visiting the lowveld.
The Executive Director of Malilangwe Trust, Mr Mark Saunders and Mr Richard Thorncroft, who manages Chilo Gorge Safaris, concurred on the need to improve roads and introduce flights into Chiredzi.
“We are proud to be part of the transfrontier conservation area. However, getting into the lowveld is quite a challenge. There are no flights from major centres,” Mr Saunders said.
“It is a 7-hour drive from Harare to Chilo Gorge. The last 43km are really bad and the road has not been rehabilitated for many years,” said M r Thorcroft.
ZTA Manager – Domestic Tourism, Mrs Tafadzwa Meki said the lowveld has multiple unpublicised gems which can change the face of tourism once put on the market.
She said as ZTA, they are planning to include the sugar plantations in the lowveld as part of the tourism package.
“The sugar plantations can be made part of the tourism package. We would want people who visit to know the processes that are carried out in the sugar production. We also have beautiful places like Malilangwe, Chilo Gorge and many others which should be put on the map,” she said.
Despite having much more to offer, Masvingo is mostly known for the Great Zimbabwe monuments, with the rest of the tourist attractions hardly known.