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Bulawayo hosts Tourism Innovation Challenge

Story Yolanda Moyo

THE tourism industry has pledged to adopt innovative strategies to sustain operations, while also improving the customer experience.

Zimbabwean youths have demonstrated their potential to develop innovative ideas and promote sustainable tourism in the country.

Following submissions made to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to transform the industry in a meaningful and sustainable way, three young people walked away with cash prizes at the third edition of the provincial Tourism Innovation Challenge in Bulawayo this Tuesday.

This year’s challenge is focusing on projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to reducing the carbon footprint of the tourism industry and promoting responsible and sustainable tourism practices.

Players in the tourism sector highlighted the need for innovations to be incorporated into the industry to improve the customer experience.

“We are excited as players to see our youth coming up with those innovations because they make things easier and these are key in growing our tourism sector. These innovations are part of the growth trajectory. We have seen a lot of innovations from the tourism challenge and there is a need to incorporate these ideas into our sector because they are there to improve the sector.

“As the tourism industry we have realised that for our sector to thrive and remain competitive we have to come up with sustainable ways to ensure that our industry remains relevant, especially our heritage sites.”

Innovations in the tourism sector were cited as key in preserving natural and cultural heritage sites.

“With this challenge, we hope to make a significant stride in developing tourism in our province through youth participation. We want more diversified sustainable tourism products for our community that will preserve natural and cultural legacy for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Attract environmentally and socially conscious tourists who are current and future travellers,” said a representative of the Bulawayo Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ms Gladys Zizhou.

The Tourism Innovation Challenge is a platform aimed at creating opportunities for young innovators to participate in the tourism value chain.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will also partner with other innovation hubs to incubate, and mentor selected project proposals.

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