VP Mnangagwa was speaking at the national launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
He said major tourist destinations like the Victoria Falls offered little else of interest to tourists besides viewing the falls.
“It is critical that we innovatively and actively package our tourism offerings in the country. For example the Victoria Falls has limited night life and has little more on offer other than viewing the falls,” he said.
“As we work towards tourism promotion in Zimbabwe, let us be imaginative and innovative, and most of all let us be free to come up with more modern ideas to promote sustainable tourism.”
Acting President Mnangagwa said there were plenty of opportunities that could be explored to further improve Zimbabwe as a tourist destination.
He said the media should also play a central role in promoting the country’s image as a tourism destination, while players ought to charge competitive prices.
“Exorbitant prices scare away tourists,” he said.
Commenting on the contentious issue of heavy police presence on the country’s roads, which has been cited as one of the biggest factors scaring away tourists, the Acting President urged dialogue between the Home Affairs and Tourism and Hospitality Industry Ministries.
He said that was crucial in order to strike a balance between the need to maintain security in the country and the need to attract more tourists.
According to a recent survey that the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency conducted, harassment by police officers at roadblocks, poor road networks and the general decline of social infrastructure were some of the factors contributing to Zimbabwe being perceived as an un-attractive tourist destination.
Numerous complaints have been raised against the heavy presence of the police on the country’s major highways, but the ZRP has said this was for security reasons and also to curb road carnage. - New Ziana