BY SAMUEL NJINGA
This week tourism stakeholders converged at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel in Masvingo for the purpose of deliberating on the best ways of improving the tourism and hospitality industry at a time when the global community is battling with the adverse effects of climate change. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change measures are being implemented.
Deputy Director responsible for climate change adaptation in the Ministry of Environment, Kudzai Ndidzano, said that they are meeting players and other captains in the tourism and hospitality sector for the purpose of exchanging information on climate change phenomenon and its impact on tourism.
“We have noticed impacts across various sectors. Tourism and hospitality industry has not been spared as it relies on other sub-sectors such as forestry, biodiversity and many others. The main objective is to discuss climate change, its causes and how the tourism sector also contributes to some of the problems. It is our dream that every other stakeholder is knowledgeable and has the strength to fight climate change so that we have a low carbon climate in Zimbabwe.”
This year`s world tourism day theme is revolving around, “Tourism and Green Investments”. Insight into the theme unveils that attention is being invested in people, the planet and prosperity.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recognises 27 September as the World Tourism Day. In his speech read by Gladys Chinyerere, who is Director for Domestic Tourism Development and Facilitation, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi said that it was important to meet, share and exchange ideas for the purpose of policy development. “Tourism investment is one of the main contributors towards economic growth in the country. We encourage sustainable tourism development for economic growth, and for the benefit of our future generation as outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 agenda.”
He added, “The purpose of this workshop is to initiate a serious engagement platform on tourism. Our mission is to come up with a strategic document that will help us in the formulation of policies particularly on matters to do with climate change. There is a need for the tourism sector to adapt to climate change.”
Early this month the captains of the tourism industry launched a tourism month campaign. It is apparently held that there has been an increase of more than 60% of the arrival of tourists in the country this year. The tourism sector is also said to have witnessed a 16% growth in receipts in the first half of the year.