The Honourable Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry will be sending-off a delegation of 140 Catholic Pilgrims for the Panama World Youth Day. The event will see thousands of Catholic youths from around the world converge in Panama where they will celebrate life as a youth in Christ. The 140 Youth that will represent Zimbabwe have undergone Tourism Ambassador training and will showcase Zimbabwe at the event.
In a move to keep up with current technology trends the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in partnership with Accoleisure (Private) Limited, will this afternoon launch a tourism services mobile phone application. The technology gateway product will be known as Accoleisure and is available on both Android and IOS operating softwares.
Accoleisure (Accommodation and Leisure) is a mobile and internet application that provides convenient access to services for tourists, both leisure and business. It will also help users identify, locate, view tourism services and products and be able to book and make payments. It is also possible to make online visa applications as the application will provide immigration services support (in Zimbabwe) via e-visa platforms. It provides unlimited access to accommodation facilities, recreational facilities, resorts, sports, arts and culture activities as well as events, food and beverage and other shopping outlets. It has a special feature that provides access to emergency services for Sub-Saharan African tourist destination countries.
The application adds value to the tourism & hospitality, recreation and sport industries. It does this through bringing the full value chains to the palms of producers or service providers and consumers.
The ZTA will host the launch event at a local hotel and it will be officiated by the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon. Priscah Mupfumira, who was elated about this development.
“We need to move with the times if we are to attract more and quality tourists in the country. Remember most of these tourists come from highly developed countries where business is virtually done in the comfort of their homes, so this is a major milestone in our tourism industry and hope it will help us achieve our goals.“ she enthused.
The application can be downloaded on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The platform is user friendly and no roaming charges are needed all the time. Once you download the application, what is only left is to navigate and find the information you need. It also gives one plenty of useful information and keeps tourists updated on the current and upcoming events such as musical shows, sporting activities, film and theatre.
The application also provides full contact details of Zimbabwe’s registered tourism operators or service providers such as hotels, lodges, resorts, restaurants, coffee shops, transport and tour operators as well as car hire etc. This is very useful to tourists as they are assured to deal with authentic operators.
ZTA’s Acting Chief Executive, Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, also weighed in and said “Accoleisure has come at a time when the emphasis on business is to go digital. The greater part of business is now being conducted digitally or electronically, hence as tourism we should be keeping up with such trends. We therefore hope not only to catch most of our potential tourists on this platform but also disseminate valuable information to them.”
The Matobo National Park occupies a total area of 44 500 hectares . Established in 1953, the park was awarded World Heritage Status in June 2003. The park is an Intensive Protection Zone for endangered black and white rhinoceros. The park offers a diverse package of tourist attractions and activities.
Matobo national park white rhino Zimbabwe
The park is rich in cultural history which is resembled in numerous cultural and historical sites. The park is located 34 kilometres south of Bulawayo along the Kezi / Maphisa road. The main road to Maleme is tarred while all other park roads are gravel and mostly in good condition.
The park is well known for its unique balancing rock features with the popular “mother and child” balancing rocks.
There are curio souvenir sales crafted by the local communities around the park.
The park has a quiet and unpolluted environment idea for outdoor outings with friends, family, schools, churches, and corporates.
The park is excellent for educational trips for schools, colleges and universities. The park is rich in history, geography and tourism aspects for students learning.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the tourism industry are participating at the prestigious World Travel Market (WTM) being held at Excel in London, the UK from 5 – 7 November 2018.
Speaking in an interview, the Chief Executive of the ZTA, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, confirmed Zimbabwe’s participation at this year’s edition of the WTM with the over – arching objective of increasing tourist traffic from Europe to boost the economy.
“Tourism is a key growth engine in the national economy and as such, potential has been identified in Europe which is our traditional source market and very key. Europe’s tourist arrivals in the first half of 2018 as compared to the same period in 2017 increased by 29% to 101 101 from 78 225. The increase is indicative of the immense potential that Europe has. WTM is therefore critical for us as not only Europe, but the global tourism industry will be under roof.” he said. Kaseke added that he is thrilled to see the industry show a keen interest in WTM as we have 30 players having registered to participate there, a jump from only 9 who participated last year.
The industry players include Love For Africa, Mbano Manor Hotel, Rainbow Tourism Group, Avis Rent A Car to mention but a few. “The UK is an important market for us hence the industry players are excited to participate at this show given the new winds of change in the country and the re-engagement drive that Zimbabwe is on. Indeed we anticipate massive deals to be clinched during the show which will in turn boost our business.” remarked Shelley Cox of Great Plains Conservation.
A heightened interest in Zimbabwe has been registered by global media houses such as the BBC, Discovery Channel and Aljazeera who are coming to the Zimbabwe stand to interface with Zimbabwe. “For close to two decades the global media was very hostile towards Zimbabwe and churned out very negative publicity. This saw the tourism industry witness a tremendous dip in arrivals. We are happy that we have interviews and engagements lined up with the BBC, Discovery Channel and Aljazeera to mention but a few which reveals an attitude change. We hope to leverage on this publicity to speak the Zimbabwean story.” Kaseke remarked.
Of interest is the signing of the MOU for the promotion of Zimbabwe’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry between Zimbabwe and Aljazeera that took place today at the Zimbabwe stand. The MOU will see Zimbabwe’s tourism and the hospitality industry being promoted across Aljazeera’s media platforms. The engagement with high profile international media houses is in line with the ZTA’s quest of enhancing the image and repositioning of Destination Zimbabwe in major tourist source markets.
WTM is the second largest travel show in the world after German’s International Travel Bourse (ITB). It attracts 51 000 global travel trade hotel professionals such as tour operators, airlines, and international media from all over the world.
In a move that is anticipated to further tourism promotion for destination Zimbabwe, Al Jazeera Media Network and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) have entered in to a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the former providing promotional opportunities for destination Zimbabwe and hospitality facilities on its networks reaching out to the global audience.
The strategic partnership agreement between Al Jazeera and ZTA will see Al Jazeera English Channel’s broadcasting and listing all the hospitality facilities in Zimbabwe’s hospitality sector reaching out to affluent local and international audience. The collaboration will also see the institution of a media training on selected members from the Authority.
Speaking on this partnership, the Executive Director of the Global Brand Communications Division at Al Jazeera Media Network, Mr. Abdulla AlNajjar, expressed optimism on the partnership, “We are pleased to have signed this partnership with ZTA which will further increase Al Jazeera’s reach in Zimbabwe. In addition, as part of our drive to help communities to enhance the quality of journalism and sharing of information. Al Jazeera Media Institute shall conduct media training for selected ZTA members. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership.”
This partnership comes at an opportune time when Zimbabwe is seriously looking at intensifying branding and communications in varied source markets which is in line with the Vision 2025: National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy. Highlighting the importance of this partnership, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive, Dr Karikoga Kaseke had this to say, “Zimbabwe has been through a negative patch in the past which attracted a spate of unfavorable publicity across its’ markets. Our partnership for promotion of Zimbabwe tourism with Al Jazeera comes at a critical time where we are looking at regaining the lost market share in various source markets and communications is one of the key strategies the Authority will employ to tell the positive story of destination Zimbabwe”.
About Al Jazeera Media Network
Launched in 1996, Al Jazeera is available in over 150 countries with over 80 bureaus around the world and access to 380 million homes and over 1.6 million hotel rooms around world. The Network enjoys a virtually global footprint, connecting with its wide audience via several satellites, cable and digital platforms. Over the years, Al Jazeera has grown to become one of the leading media Networks inclusive of; Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Documentary and AJ+ digital platform. In addition, the Network has three centres; Al Jazeera Media Institute, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, and Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties and Human Rights. Each subsidiary follows the same principles—values that inspire it to be challenging and bold, providing a ‘voice for the voiceless’ in some of the most underreported places on the planet.
Al Jazeera was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to providing comprehensive news and live debate. It challenged established narratives and gave a global audience an alternative voice—one that put the human being back at the centre of the news agenda—quickly making it one of the world’s most influential news networks.
One’s quest to know the rich offers of Zimbabwe’s tourism can not be complete without an appreciation of our museums which are the conduits for our culture and heritage.
Among the most intriguing visits to the museum is the Shona Village situated at the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage site that was declared a National Monument in 1937 and a World Heritage Site in 1986.
The village is an ethnographic depiction of continuing traditional lifestyles since the Great Zimbabwe period to present day. It offers a general representation of the dynamic Shona Culture and traditional practices in such aspects as architecture, social, economic and political practices, education and entertainment, performing arts, fine arts, crafts and traditional healing. The village plans to provide overnight accommodation to tourists who wish to experience the African night in traditional houses constructed using traditional methods and styles.
“Generations of Heritage managers realised that there is need to establish a living museum at the site to aid in the presentation and preservation of the shona culture as well as add value to Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site. This implies that Great Zimbabwe is not only a gift to Zimbabweans, neither is it a gift to the region and Africa only but it is a gift to the entire world,” said Lovemore Mandima, the Director of the Southern Region of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ).
The Great Zimbabwe is divided into three major concentric zones which are the Hill Complex, the Valley Enclosure and the Great Enclosure. It is also a cultural and archaeological site. In 1980, it gave its name to the country and arguably became the only known cultural site that has given its name to a great nation like Zimbabwe.
“Apart from the silent, dry stone walls found at Great Zimbabwe, NMMZ in its widom and also deriving this wisdom from international standards in heritage management thought of coming up with a model of a traditional Shona Village as an addition to the dry stones. The idea behind is that of educating its visitorship in its entirety on the differnet aspects of the Shona culture hence the artefacts one finds at the Shona village give a vivid picture of the Shona way of life.
“These include the traditional ways of harnessing food, iron smelting, pottery and basket making, wood and stone carving and the concept of polygamy, just to mention a few,” Mandima said.
World Tourism Day, celebrated every 27 September around the world, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development.
This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) will help to put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector.
“Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
The WTD official celebration will be held in Budapest, Hungary, a country enjoying steady growth of tourism backed by consistent policy support and a commitment to the digital future. Other celebrations will take place worldwide.
The official celebration will also see the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, launched by UNWTO and Globalia to give visibility to startups with innovative ideas capable of revolutionizing the way we travel and enjoy tourism.