Zimbabwe and Mozambique have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism co-operation that will result in a dual marketing strategy for their products.The MoU was signed during the meeting of SADC Ministers Responsible for Tourism in Maputo, Mozambique, last week.
In an interview, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Engineer Walter Mzembi said the marketing strategy would promote the best of both countries.
“We desire to do joint promotion and marketing of the two destinations (Zimbabwe and Mozambique) combining the beaches of Mozambique with our terrestrial products.
“Beaches are a very attractive feature of tourism marketing,” he said.
“We would like to leverage and share the experiences of English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking markets.”
Mozambique’s prime tourist attractions include white-sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and luxury hideaways, with just over two million tourists visiting the country yearly, accounting for 6 percent of the economy in 2012.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe’s key draw cards include the Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe National Monuments and the Eastern Highlands among other attractions, with under three million tourists visiting the country annually.
Official statistics show that the sector accounted for about 8,2 percent to Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product in 2012. To this extent, it is also expected that the agreement will have a positive impact on regional tourism at the broader level.
Added Minister Mzembi: “It is an indictment on the sector that it concluded agreements with countries in the West that later on turned hostile to it ahead of friendly countries in the region.
“We have learnt from this lesson that charity begins at home because the region contributes more than 80 percent to our total international arrivals.
“It provides the critical mass and hedge in the event of us being held to ransom by international traffic as was the case until 2009. We will never put all our eggs in one basket again.”
The MoU will also see the two countries taking a special focus on the promotion of their heritage sites.
From : Allafrica.com
4 December 2013