By Tichaona Kurewa
THE country’s tourism sector has gone digital with players in the industry undergoing training in digital marketing to keep abreast with modern marketing trends.
The training programme dubbed “Let’s Get Digital”, is part of initiatives under the Zimbabwe Destination Development Programme (ZDDP), a partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Beneficiaries of the digital marketing training programme are excited at the prospect of exploring new opportunities as the tourism recovery plan gathers momentum.
“It’s really good. The Ministry of Tourism has listened to the operators and ensuring we adapt to change , well equipped training to up-skill our digital skills could only come in handy. Operators who have been rich on the digital market did not suffer much during the COVID-19 time,” said one operator.
“It is very important as the whole world is now going digital, for us this training is a wake up call and informative as well. We know technology has advanced, but how much it affects businesses has not been realised until we got into this training,” said another tourism player.
International Finance Corporation Zimbabwe Coordinator, Ms Emmah Parirenyatwa gave an insight into the objective of the training Programme.
“We came up with this training which is essentially looking at best practices in the tourism sector in managing marketing of the tourism business. It’s a three-part program. We are currently doing the elementary phase of the program, there is going to be intermediate and advanced. The objective is to enhance digital skills of the tourism sector in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mr Munesu Munodawafa highlighted the importance of digital marketing in the tourism recovery plan.
“Under this training, the current focus is on digital training, it came out of the realisation that where there are eventualities that inhibit travel, like under COVID-19 circumstances, we now need the country to sharpen our electronic related marketing initiative, which we call digital marketing, it is under that context that we are now training players in Victoria Falls initially. It is meant to be an on-going exercise that even if they can’t travel like what we normally do, like going to various expos throughout the world. Now that they can’t travel we now want to market our good product so that it doesn’t fade-off in people’s memories,” he said.
Zimbabwe is targeting a five billion United States dollars tourism industry by 2025.