By ZBC Reporter
AN independent crisis communications and recovery initiative has been formed for Victoria Falls under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Destination Development Programme supported by the World Bank with a view to better position the destination for recovery.
Cognisant of the importance of destination communication and engagement strategy as part of the tourism recovery efforts, a full-time Communications Coordinator, Shelley Cox, has been appointed for Victoria Falls under the Zimbabwe Destination Development Programme which is supported by the World Bank.
Victoria Falls Crisis and Recovery Initiative Coordinator, Shelley Cox who is optimistic of the recovery of the destination highlighted that a series of campaigns have been lined up to reinforce the preparedness and recovery response to COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we are trying to do is to build confidence in Vic Falls by providing verified information to external audiences around the preparedness and response of the destination throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a value destination to the world we need to act quickly and collaboratively to provide a unified voice,” she said.
Cox who is a board member of the Forestry Board of Zimbabwe is passionate about wildlife and conservation. She has worked in the tourism industry for the past ten years and is co-owner of Africa Conservation Travel.
According to Cox, the Victoria Falls Crisis and Recovery Initiative Coordinator will prioritise a collaborative approach and is directly linked with the Victoria Falls Covid-19 Task Force. The initiative is also supported by the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
“We aim to represent the voice of all industry stakeholders in Victoria Falls community both large and small and right now we are focused on gathering feedback input ideas and support for this initiative. We are open to all partnerships that share this same vision. We are keen to work with partners who can share content ideas, images and stories that reinforce the preparedness and recovery response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cox.
Exactly 24 hours after the launch of the initiative a total of 350 requests were received from external trade partners in different source markets who wanted updates on the destination, in a development that has signalled the appetite that the people have in the destination, which is famed as Africa’s Adventure Capital.
Meanwhile 10-year-old twins Lily and Lara Vincent have launched wilderness and cultural story-telling television project “The Adventures of The Twins in Africa,” aimed at showcasing Southern Africa’s abundant wildlife and cultural beauty as part of efforts to support the post-COVID-19 tourism recovery.
Having started their story-telling campaign in South Africa, Lily and Lara have plans to travel to other regional destinations which include Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. According to the two, “The Adventures of The Twins in Africa” was created to educate both the young and old as well as raising awareness on conservation.
Calls continue to be made for destinations across the globe to strengthen their capacity to provide timely information as the travel and tourism sector shifts focus from mitigating the immediate impact of Covid-19 to planning for recovery and re-opening.
By ZBC Reporter