Home » Sports » Mzembi Spells Need for Sport, Tourism Partnerships

TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi yesterday pointed to the importance of partnerships between sport and tourism as the nation seeks to explore avenues that will promote tourism and the development of sport.Mzembi made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Florence Nhekairo, at a breakfast meeting held by the Sports Commission to promote sports tourism.

Yesterday’s meeting was held under the theme “Unlocking Zimbabwe’s Economic Potential Through Sports Tourism”.

The meeting was also supposed to see the signing on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sports Commission and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority but that was postponed as Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Andrew Langa, had other commitments.

“The relationship between sport and tourism is symbolic and both sectors need each other as sports people are always touring from one country to another.

“Sporting events are capable of being used for promoting and positioning tourism and they can boost tourism numbers and economic activities. The volume of traffic from sports tourism can also serve to promote traditional tourism in Zimbabwe and mitigate the seasonal nature of tourism in the country,” said Mzembi.

Mzembi said there was need to come up with a strategy for the programme to be viable.

“Sport and tourism can attract Foreign Direct Investment if we are able to appeal to the international sporting boards, icons and teams,” said Mzembi.

“We have some great companies in Zimbabwe, many of whom are represented here today, and which have continued to grow and to break into new markets.”

Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture Paul Damasane said the development will not only benefit the sport sector but also the other stakeholders coming into this partnership.

“ZTA is in itself a very powerful tool within the government and as well within the social sector because what ZTA does it opens a door to many possibilities, it’s a possibility of meeting other known Zimbabwean actors in sport.

“It’s a possibility of encouraging other known Zimbabweans who are not even in sport to visit Zimbabwe. And, thirdly, it is a possibility of creating more cohesive interaction of Zimbabweans themselves by the use of sport so ZTA is a very important backbone and tool in that sense,” said Damasane.

Source : The Herald