Zim youths in tourism join regional counterparts

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Enacy Mapakame

HARARE – Zimbabwean youths in the tourism sector are joining their regional counterparts in lobbying for more conducive environment for their participation in the sector as they move towards boosting its global market share and contribution towards the economy.

At a conference to be held in Bulawayo from 19 to 24 September, youths will table issues around youth funding for tourism projects, visa restrictions and poor inter-departmental collaboration regarding licenses and challenges faced by the student body across Zimbabwe and Africa.

These have been identified as impediments to tourism growth and affecting the participation of youths.

Youth in Tourism director Stewart Mutizwa emphasized the need to speak with one voice as African youths to shake off the misconceptions the world hold over Africa, due to negative publicity.

“Africa is usually associated with poverty, political instability and we are on a mission to clear these misconceptions.

“This is the Africa we want and the legacy we want to build for future generations to come. We want to speak with one voice as African youth to advocate for the signing of bilateral agreements as well as initiate cultural exchange programmes,” said Mr Mutizwa at the launch of preparations for the Youth in Tourism Conference last week.

The youth in tourism conference will draw participants from across the region under the theme Fostering Tourism Development and Innovation in Africa through Youth Participation.

This is expected to map the way forward for increased participation of youths in the tourism sector, while also boosting Africa’s total market share of the global tourism industry from the current 3 percent to 5 percent.

Mr Mutizwa said, this initiative would go beyond the tourism industry, but also crucial in unlocking trade and investment opportunities within the region and beyond.

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