The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has bemoaned the move by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority which will see buyers who are in the country for the 8th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani tourism expo paying for site inspections.
Addressing journalists, ZTA boss said buyers are being denied free entry into parks to view the product before marketing it when they return home.
“Buyers who have convened for this year’s expo are being denied free entry into parks and this has resulted in some buyers viewing our Victoria Falls from Zambia yet we invited them to Zimbabwe.
“Buyers were denied entry into the Parks Estate as the Wildlife Management Authority expected payment from buyers for site inspections,” he said.
He also blasted Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority for failing to understand that buyers are not tourists
He said such a problem will further tarnish the country’s image which is already being portrayed negatively in foreign countries
“Barring them from parks does not help us in telling our own story and correcting the negative image which is spiraling out of controlling in the market place.
“All other facilities are open for site inspections and no charge is levied on buyers as this is how we showcase the products for packaging,” he said.
Kaseke said ZTA’s efforts to engage Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in a dialogue to eradicate this payment were fruitless.
“We have been trying to engage them but all our efforts were fruitless. One wonders on what is informing parks on that decision?” he said adding that Zim Parks has no power whatsoever to charge buyers for site viewing.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority Public Relations Officer Caroline Washaya–Moyo was not reachable for a comment as her phone was not being answered.