Zim set to host Africa Youth in Tourism Con­fer­ence

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Travel/Business News - Tendai Mbir­imi

TOURISM has of late be­come one of the strong­est driv­ers of world trade and pros­per­ity. How­ever, poverty al­le­vi­a­tion has re­mained one of the great­est global chal­lenges. De­spite tur­bu­lent times for the world’s economies, these ba­sic facts are un­likely to change.

Fo­cus­ing the wealth cre­at­ing power of tourism on peo­ple who are in need re­mains an im­mense task and op­por­tu­nity.

Tourism is one of the fastest grow­ing and in­no­va­tive in­dus­tries con­tribut­ing about 10 per­cent of the to­tal Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) of the world.

Tourism has be­come part of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals of many na­tions across the globe.

The African Union; through the Africa Youth Char­ter made a rat­i­fi­ca­tion for all mem­ber states to sup­port the par­tic­i­pa­tion of youths in Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals (SDGs).

In Zim­babwe, our Na­tional Youth Pol­icy clearly de­fines the role of the youth in eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

It is against this back­ground that the Zim­babwe Youth in Tourism is set to host the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the Africa Youth in Tourism at the Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional Trade fair in Bu­l­awayo from the 6th to the 9th of Septem­ber, 2017.

At least 3000 del­e­gates from across Africa and abroad are ex­pected to at­tend.

Ad­dress­ing del­e­gates at a stake­hold­ers meet­ing this week, Zim­babwe Youth in Tourism Pa­tron, Mrs Aux­il­lia Mnan­gagwa said while this is an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, this event will en­able Zim­bab­wean youths to ad­vance brand Zim­babwe.

“This con­fer­ence presents the Youth in Tourism with a plat­form to mar­ket Brand Zim­babwe as well as en­gage in di­a­logues that will en­hance their busi­ness en­tre­pre­neur­ial skills.

“The con­fer­ence pro­vides con­ti­nen­tal ex­po­sure to the youth for the ex­pres­sion and ful­fil­ment of their tal­ents, as­pi­ra­tions and ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties within the tourism in­dus­try,” she said.

Mrs Mnan­gagwa pointed out that it is im­por­tant for the Youth in Tourism meet reg­u­larly to ex­change and share ex­pe­ri­ences, as well as learn­ing form ex­perts in the sec­tor in or­der to keep up with the dy­nam­ics of the tourism and hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

In many coun­tries, tourism acts as an en­gine for devel­op­ment through for­eign ex­change earn­ings and the cre­ation of direct and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO), tourism ac­counts for at least 10 per­cent of the world’s ex­ports in ser­vices be­ing the fourth largest ex­port sec­tor af­ter fu­els, chem­i­cals and au­to­mo­tive prod­ucts.

Tourism is re­spon­si­ble for around 235 mil­lion jobs, or one in ev­ery 12 jobs world­wide.

Tourism, in many de­vel­op­ing coun­tries is the most vi­able and sus­tain­able eco­nomic devel­op­ment op­tion, and in some coun­tries, the main source of for­eign ex­change earn­ings.

Part of this in­come trick­les down to dif­fer­ent groups of the so­ci­ety and, if tourism is man­aged with a strong fo­cus on poverty al­le­vi­a­tion, it can di­rectly ben­e­fit the poorer groups through em­ploy­ment of lo­cals in tourism en­ter­prises, goods and ser­vices pro­vided to tourists, or the run­ning of small and com­mu­nity-based en­ter­prises.

Zim­bab­wean tourism in re­cent years has been char­ac­terised by two main trends; firstly, the consolidation of tra­di­tional tourism des­ti­na­tions, like Vic­to­ria Falls; and se­condly, a pro­nounced re­li­gious, busi­ness and con­fer­ence ar­rivals.

There has been a sub­stan­tial di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of des­ti­na­tions, and many de­vel­op­ing coun­tries have seen their tourist ar­rivals in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly.

Zim­bab­wean tourism in re­cent years has been char­ac­terised by main trends such as the consolidation of tra­di­tional tourism des­ti­na­tions like Vic­to­ria Falls

Mrs Aux­il­lia Mnan­gagwa

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