Act On Roadblocks, Mnangagwa Tells Chombo
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged Ministry of Home Affairs to act on excessive number of roadblocks on the country’s highway to promote easy movement of tourists in the country.
Officiating at the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Mnangagwa said international tourists have been raising concerns over heavy police presence on the roads, a move which hampers sustainable tourism while scaring away potential visitors.
“I’m aware that the issue of roadblocks has been raised by a number of tourists. As government, we are committed to the free movement of tourists and the need to ensure their safety.
“I therefore urge the two ministries of Home Affairs and Tourism and Hospitality to sit down together under one roof and further determine how the need for safety and movement of tourists can be guaranteed.
“In the same vein, I want to commend the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the visiting public and tourists, especially in the Victoria Falls for their cooperation,” Mnangagwa said.
His comments come in the wake of an on-going war between motorists and the ZRP over the latter’s heavy handedness on the country’s highway.
Tourism is a big contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product as last year alone it contributed 10.9% to the GDP, 4.3% to capital investment and 7.3% to employment.
According to the Tourism Trends and Statistics Report, Zimbabwe recorded a total of 2 167 686 visitors and earned US$819 million in revenue.
Mnangagwa called for policies that safeguard and promote sustainable tourism as it plays a major role in the development of the economy.
“This year offers a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development in both the public and private sectors, while promoting stakeholder collaboration in making tourism a vehicle for positive change,” Mnangagwa said.
The purpose of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is to promote the role of tourism in inclusive and sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction,; resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change, cultural values , diversity and heritage as well as mutual understanding , peace and security.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe will join the world in officially acknowledging the critical role and nature of sustainable tourism in spearheading development.
The international Year of Tourism is being celebrated under the theme “Travel, Enjoy, Respect”