Innovative tourism packages critical in attracting more tourist: Acting President

VP Emmerson-Mnangagwa
– Acting President Emerson Mnangagwa  on Tuesday said there is need to package tourism products that the  country offers in an innovative way in order to attract more visitors.

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

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