The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has begun a deliberate approach to promote domestic tourism by engaging tertiary education institutions as the country ramps ups efforts to lure more tourists locally.
The national tourism body is targeting students sitting for a cross-section of degree programmes and courses that include tourism and hospitality, marketing, archaeology and their lecturers.
ZTA Head Corporate Affairs Chief Godfrey Koti said the approach is under the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy.
“The primary aim of the presentations is to create awareness among students about tourist attractions within Zimbabwe. We have to catch them young and hopefully inculcate a culture of travel and hopefully, this translates to an increased interest in domestic tourism,” he said.
The travel board will be at the University of Zimbabwe today with key topics ranging from challenges, and career guidance as well domestic tourism promotion.
“The need to educate students on the state of domestic tourism is critical in creating a sense of ownership and pride in being a citizen of this country which is endowed with unique destinations, and flora and fauna that are unmatched in the world,” Koti added.
“Targeting institutions of higher learning aims at grooming a pool of tourism ambassadors and adventurers and explorers in their particular academic pursuits. This will also lead to arming them with career opportunities that are off the beaten track but will create a large pool for the tourism industry to tap into,” said
The Covid-19 pandemic adversely affected the tourism industry in the country, resulting in the halting of all international travel. This left a huge void that, from a strategic point of view, could only be filled by focusing on domestic tourism as well as promoting local products.
Koti also added that “Involving students at such a nascent stage in their studies also serves to induct them into the tourism economy that aims to inject 5 billion into the larger Zimbabwean economy by 2030.”