HARARE – Industry and business community should support tourism sector initiatives as they bring complementary consumers of locally produced commodities, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi has said.
Mr Chidzidzi was speaking at the launch of Zimbabwe Food and Culture Festival that is going to be held during the culture week from 23-25 May this month in Harare.
The festival which will showcase local cuisines and culture is meant to attract and increase tourists traffic into the country complementing the traditional events like Sanganani Hlanganani, Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA)and Victoria Falls carnival that is held at the end of the year and has become a success lately, attracting vacationers from across the globe.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Zimbabwe food and culture festival, ZTA chief executive said besides image creation, the initiative (tourism) has potential to grow local businesses income.
“Tourism increases consumption of locally produced commodities, it brings additional consumers to our local produce thereby creating more revenue, this will complement the consumption by our little (14 million) population,” he said.
Mr Chidzidzi gave statistics of the previously held festivals reflecting significant contribution of tourism activity to the fiscus.
“In 2017, the carnival (a similar event) attracted 18 000 participants and earned $23 million direct and indirect revenue contribution a 73 percent increase from 2015 edition as the average spending per participant was USD$39 on the carnival day,” said Mr Chidzidzi.
He spoke passionately of Oktoberfest, held Munich, Germany where the country last year received 7, 2 million tourists in one week.
The holiday makers consumed 6, 9 million litres of beer, 42 526 litres of sparkling wine, 299 million litres of coffee and tea, 1,130 million litres of water and lemonade and 549 899 chickens were slaughtered for consumption in one week.
Weighing in on to Mr Chidzidzi’s economic benefits that will be derived from the food and culture festival, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa said the festival would serve as a reminder that will promote traditional nourishments which will go a long way in curbing of non-communicable diseases in the country.