The Sunday Mail
The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) have concluded a US$100 000 funding deal for the conservation and tourism project in Hwange and Tsholotsho, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Acting Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said the deal will help unlock funding for the construction of a community viewing platform. This will help promote domestic tourism.
Minister Ndlovu also revealed that another 300 000 Euro has been approved to support Africa’s tourism 10-point plan. Zimbabwe is set to benefit.
Last week, Minister Ndlovu was in St Petersburg, Russia, attending the UNWTO 23rd General Assembly meeting.
The meeting was running under the theme ‘Education and Employment in Tourism’.
Zimbabwe has been a full member of the UNWTO since 1981. The organisation seeks to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
In a statement released to The Sunday Mail, the Minister said, “The Ministry has concluded an agreement with the UNWTO for support of a conservation and tourism project in Hwange and Tsholotsho area, which will unlock funding for the construction of a community viewing platform.
“The UNWTO will provide funding to the tune of US$100 000 to fund this project and we are very happy as Zimbabwe to leverage on this global network to fund community projects,” he said.
He added: “I, however, would like to see more collaborations with the UNWTO and other countries with well-developed tourism sectors, so that we are able to set benchmarks and developmental trajectory for our tourism industry.
“Being part of a global tourism family is good for Zimbabwe, as this affords us a rare opportunity to meet at that multilateral level with other leading countries in terms of tourism development.
“In fact, the UNWTO General Assembly is a principal gathering of all the 158 member States to decide and agree on policies and strategies that grow and drive global tourism to another level.
“It is therefore imperative that as a young and emerging tourist destination, Zimbabwe be part of such global platforms so that she is able to tell her narrative and project abundant tourist resources we are so richly endowed with,” said Minister Ndlovu.
He said the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly has adopted and approved the ﬁrst ever Global Convention Framework on Tourism Ethics, a statutory instrument that will regulate all tourism players and stakeholders in developing countries. lt will also promote responsible tourism at national level.
Further, the instrument also supports developing countries as they seek to develop their tourism sectors. Developed nations constitute major tourist source markets.
More funds have been availed for Africa tourism.
“We are also pleased that the General Assembly has approved a 300 000 Euros to support a 10-point plan to promote tourism in Africa. Zimbabwe will also ride on that programme to enhance its tourism sector.
“Zimbabwe will deﬁnitely beneﬁt from the development of our Tourism Satellite Account system, an approved instrument that is used to correctly collect and collate tourism data so as to ensure that we have proper and credible tourism statistics, important information for effective planning by Government,” said Minister Ndlovu.