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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Domestic tourism trail taken to Bulawayo

Story by Yolanda Moyo

The domestic tourism campaign trail was taken to Bulawayo this Tuesday, with residents applauding the initiative for educating locals on the need to visit local tourism destinations and contribute to national development.

The vibrant festive season domestic campaign ZIMBHO dubbed #Uripi #Ungaphi, aimed at reigniting domestic tourism in Zimbabwe, was taken to the City of Kings, which has a rich history and culture that can be packaged for tourists.

The campaign is part of the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry together with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA)’s drive to encourage locals to visit the tourism attractions within Zimbabwe.

The campaign launch was a kaleidoscope of colour and movement.

Traditional dancers in dazzling headdresses twirled to the beat of drums, while the band kept the procession alive while dancing in the streets.

For locals, it reminded them of the hidden treasures and rich history of the country’s second largest city.

“This was an eye-opener for me as it revealed the hidden gems in Bulawayo that l did not know about,” a resident said.

Another noted, “We always thought that a tourist is someone coming from another country. From today onwards, l have been enlightened that l can visit also and be a tourist.”

The campaign was not just about flashy events and catchy slogans, it was a strategic effort to make Bulawayo more accessible and appealing to domestic tourists, thereby boosting the local economy.

“Tourism is one of the sectors that the province looks up to for economic sustenance, due to its contribution to the GDP and employment creation. Bulawayo offers a complete tourism package with its cultural heritage, museums and monuments. If properly harnessed, tourism alone can contribute immensely to the economic development of the province. This is a big benefit for us as players in the tourism sector because we love this as it drives our industry because we rely on domestic tourism to thrive,” said Hoteliers Association of Zimbabwe Bulawayo chairperson, Mr Kudzai Tarisai.

The launch which comes as the country has recorded a significant rise in foreign receipts but lagging on the domestic front, is expected to boost tourism growth and help the country increase its gross domestic profit (GDP) in line with Vision 2030.

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Barbara Rwodzi told ZBC News, “We are telling the people of Bulawayo to spend their money here especially visit Matopos that has over 33 000 traffic from outside Zimbabwe. As a ministry, we are working towards making Matopo Hills better and attractive to the locals and international visitors.”

The domestic tourism drive will be taken to various ports of entry to attract encouraging Zimbabweans coming in for the holidays to visit tourism destinations across the country.

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