Business Correspondent

ENVIRONMENT, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu, has urged Zimbabweans at home and abroad to take up investment opportunities in rural service centres and position themselves for imminent growth and development.

Speaking at the occasion of the World Tourism Day Celebrations 2020 at Chinhoyi University of Technology, Ndhlovu said the Government has begun work on the identified nodes that will drive the growth of the tourism sector.

These include the approval of the Victoria Falls-Binga Special Economic Zone by Cabinet, which will see 10 nodes in this Special Economic Zone developed.

The Government is also scaling up development of an integrated tourism resort in the Masuwe area, a new resort in Binga and an eco-Tourism Park in Sijarira Forest.

The proposed development in Binga includes the upgrading of the airport to improve accessibility in this resort.

“In addition, a new tourism resort will be opened in Batoka area, where the Government has since demarcated land for tourism development, in addition to plans to establish a new hydropower station,” Ndhlovu said.

The sector marked this years’ World Tourism Day Celebrations, by handing over the Kore Kore Cultural Village, to the Makonde community, Mashonaland West. The Kore Kore Cultural Village was funded by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority as part of the Ministry’s 100 Day projects, buttressing this year’s theme of ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, which underlies the unique role that tourism plays in preserving cultural and natural heritage and providing livelihoods opportunities outside urban settlements.

Meanwhile, Ndhlovu urged enhanced collaboration between the public and private sector, to stimulate travel demand in the local, regional and international source markets.

Monday’s celebrations afforded academics at Chinhoyi University of Technology an opportunity to input into the national tourism discourse through candid and robust research papers. The minister assured the academic community that their presentations will go a long way in informing innovative policy ideas and solutions for the betterment of the tourism industry.

Most tourism players throughout the country have now re-opened their facilities in strict compliance with the Covid-19 Health Protocols.