Zimbabwe hosts Joint Tourism Technical Committee meeting

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Thokozile Chitepo

 Michael Tome

HARARE – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Hospitality says Zimbabwe will host a Zimbabwe – Zambia Joint Tourism Technical Committee meeting (JTTC) from September 23 to 24 in in Victoria Falls.

The JTTC discussions will cover areas of tourism cooperation including joint tourism promotion, promotion of cultural heritage sites and sustainable handicraft production and preservation. It will also focus on classification and standardization of tourism products and facilities, product development, tourism investment, capacity building and collaboration in training of tourism personnel.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Thokozile Chitepo said the cooperation which is a brainchild of a memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe and Zambia is critical for poverty mitigation and enhancement of tourism growth in the two Southern African countries.

“The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of tourism which was signed between our two countries can be used as a tool for tourism development and poverty alleviation.

 “The shear breadth of our engagements is testimony that our relations have greatly diversified with passage of time and poised to develop further in an all-round manner. JTTC   discussions, I have no doubt that Zimbabwe – Zambia relations are poised to fully take advantage of the opportunities open before us,” said Dr Chitepo.

The event come at the backdrop of a fruitful Sanganai/Hlanganani Expo which was held in Bulawayo early this month.

“Earlier this month, we hosted a successful Sanganai/Hlanganani in Bulawayo where 240 buyers, 288 exhibitors, 21 countries from across the globe converged for this year’s edition and this vindicates that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business,” she said.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya is on record saying the tourism sector is an important source of foreign currency for the country.

According to RBZ statistics in 2017 the sector generated US$151 million, which is about 5 percent of merchandise exports or 2.7 percent of total foreign exchange received by the country that year.

The sector falls under the large group classified under distribution, hotels and restaurants which accounts for 11 percent of GDP.

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