ZTA intensifies MICE tourism

ZTA intensifies MICE tourism
Published: 02 April 2018
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has intensified efforts to unlock more meetings and conferences for the country by reinforcing engagements with different associations.

The tourism body acknowledged in a statement that associations were crucial in the Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry as they were the main source of meetings and conferences. International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks countries according to the number of association meetings and conferences held at a destination.

In 2016, Zimbabwe was ranked number 12 in Africa by ICCA, South Africa emerged as number one, Morocco number two and position three went to three countries (Rwanda, Egypt and Kenya).

"In order to improve our ranking in Africa and in the globe we need to bid and host more association meetings," ZTA chief executive officer, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, said.

He said this necessitated the need to intensify local association engagements, adding: "Of course, we will follow a systematic approach in doing so. We used to engage associations through one-on-one meetings and we have since felt that we can be more impactful if we host sectorial associations under one roof for a day of interactive exchange with our National Convention Bureau (NCB)."

The NCB recently organised a workshop for the associations in the health sector in a bid to identify health association meetings and conferences that can be staged in Zimbabwe. NCB director, Mrs Tesa Chikaponya, said at the workshop they were able to identify over 21 potential conferences that can be hosted in Zimbabwe. She said they were very positive that more conferences can be unlocked from the health associations.

"We will engage those health associations that failed to attend the workshop before moving on to our next sectorial engagement, the agriculture sector," she said.

Due to the immense benefits derived from hosting meetings, conferences and exhibitions many developed countries such as Singapore, South Africa and United Kingdom have embraced MICE tourism as a tool to drive economic development. It is hoped that Zimbabwe will realise economic growth faster if every Zimbabwean took it upon themselves to attract events that have economic and social impact.

Meanwhile, ZTA has called on unregistered tourism operators to comply or risk being prosecuted. The authority has said it will be working with law enforcement agents to bring to book those who are found wanting starting April 1.

"Following the announcement by the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Prisca Mupfumira, on January 12, the ZTA wishes to remind all operators of unregistered designated tourist facilities to come forward and register by 31 March 2018," said ZTA.

"All designated tourist facilities that are unregistered or with lapsed licences are therefore urged to regularise their operations as soon as possible to avoid inconveniences. Failure to comply with regulatory requirements could lead to prosecution.

"From April 1, ZTA in conjunction with law enforcement agents will be deployed to bring all unregistered facilities to book."

Tourism is one of the country's major foreign currency earners and Government has in the past insisted on improvement of standards and has put in place measures to ensure protection of tourists and improvement in service delivery.

Overcharging or undercharging and poor service delivery is highly common among unregistered players as they do not abide by the country's tourism guidelines.
- online
Tags: MICE, ZTA,


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