Tourism players have been called upon to promote Harare as a tourist destination in order to sustain and develop the sector.
By Faith Zvorufura
In a speech read on her behalf at the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs, Miriam Chikukwa said Harare has a lot of attraction centres which are not being paid attention to, urging the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry to work with the local communities to maintain and refurbish the glamour of the attraction centers in a sustainable manner.
“Harare has a lot of attraction centers in the downtown and old suburbs that are dilapidated due to lack of respect and care by our own people, making them unattractive to visitors.
“The province receives a lot of international visitors because of tourist attractions like the Balancing Rocks in Epworth, Harare Kopje, and our National Shrine, The National Heroes Acre.
Chikukwa said the International Tourism Year launch is a national event that cuts across all sectors of the national economy and society, urging people to appreciate and recognize the role of tourism in driving the agenda of sustainable development.
The International Year of Sustainable Tourism aims at promoting among other things, changes in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards sustainable tourism thereby contributing to the UN sustainable development goals.
Minister Chikukwa said tourism is one of the key pillars of economic development.
Her call was echoed by Harare Mayor, His Worship Ben Manyenyeni who said priority must be given to Harare as it can unlock new tourism destinations which foster economic development.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority says 2,1 million visitors came into the country last year, generating $819 million in receipts.
Last year, the tourism sector contributed 10,9% to the gross domestic product, 4,3% to capital investment and 7,3% to employment.
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