SMEs play a key role in the growth of tourism in Zimbabwe – CAJ News Africa
of DANIEL JONES at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
THE VICTORIA FALLS, (ACJ News) – ZIMBABWE empowers small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector, in recognition of the role they play in the growth of the industry.
A contest dubbed “20 for 20” was launched, with the winners ready to benefit from widespread marketing via online platforms in the region.
The Ministry of Tourism launched the competition.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is funding the initiative under the theme “Small and Mighty: A Celebration of Small Business”.
Boundless Southern Africa and We are Victoria Falls are supporting the project.
The first 20 beneficiaries were recently announced at a reception.
Douglas Runyowa, chief director of the tourism ministry, said the ministry recognizes the importance of small businesses for the power of job creation, entrepreneurship and the role of driving sustainable development in the sector.
“The competition is called 20 for 20 and aims to identify 20 small-scale tourism operators with an impact in the industry,” he explained.
He said the companies were honored, especially at a time when the industry faced skills drain, lack of activity and lack of market access due to COVID-19.
“We are happy that the revival of tourism is happening now and we want the traditional actors to leave no one behind in accordance with the country’s National Development Strategy 1,” Runyowa said.
Each company won marketing materials in the form of 20 professional photos, a promotional video, a one-year listing on the Itinerary Platform and a representation via Boundless Southern Africa at the several virtual exhibitions in the region.
This is a significant achievement for the smaller players who are largely eclipsed by the big market giants.
The winning SMEs are made up of new and old players but operating on a smaller scale in the fields of accommodation, tourist activities, canoeing, horse riding, travel agency and photography.
These are Africa Travel and Tours, Discover Safaris, DK Tours and Safaris, Excellence Trails, Exclusive Tough Africa, Routes Through Africa, Rukoko Safaris, Tsowa Island, Umdingi Safaris and Victoria Falls Canoeing Company.
Others are Dzimbahwe House, Intondolo Safaris, Nguni Lodge, Phezulu Lodge, Premier Guest Lodge, Signature Africa, Tatenda Safaris, Wildspoor Safaris and Zambezi Horse Safaris.
Sisasenkosi Mthunzi, owner of Excellence Trails, which loves photo safaris, said being recognized is a huge incentive for the company to work harder.
“Since the successive blockages, we have been on the ground to film and download as a way to educate the market that there is life in tourism after COVID-19. It is an honor that will go a long way in improving the reach of the market, ”Mthunzi said.
– CAJ News