Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomenewsVictoria Falls beauty charms regional journalists

Victoria Falls beauty charms regional journalists

The Chronicle

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Leonard Ncube, [email protected]     

ZIMBABWE’S hospitality and a basket of tourism activities in Victoria Falls have charmed the group of journalists and entertainment personalities from neighbouring countries who are in the country on a familiarization tour of the destination.

The delegation is drawn from a number of Sadc countries and is on a brand Zimbabwe tour that is aimed at promoting the destination and propping up Zimbabwe’s business attractiveness.

Running under the “True Zimbabwe Tour”, the five-day familiarisation visit is part of a charm offensive by key stakeholders aimed at marketing the country as a premium travel and investment destination.

The programme is being organized by the Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services and supported by the African Chrome Fields, a mining giant and a progressive player in the sector with environmental sustainability profile.

The tour is a follow-up to a recent dinner meeting that was attended by Ministers of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and Mines and Mining Development, Monica Mutsvangwa, and Winston Chitando respectively, and captains of industry in Johannesburg, South Africa where a call was made to support the “Zimbabwe is open for business” drive and promote image building for the country.

Journalists and renowned entertainment personalities Sello Maake ka Ncube, Sonia Mbele and Pearl Thusi, will become Zimbabwe Tourism ambassadors.

pic 24 1 Sadc journalists on a tour of the Falls

The group arrived on Monday save for Pearl who joined on Tuesday afternoon, and had a feel of the local hospitality with a lunch out at Lookout Café before sampling the local culture and dishes at the Boma Dinner and Drum Show in the evening.

On Tuesday the team went for a game drive in the Zambezi National Park where they encountered a number of animals before touring the Victoria Falls Rainforest and later went on a boat cruise. During the day the crew interacted with local tourism executives and locals.

Yesterday morning the group rode on the tram, which gives an exciting safari experience and view of the Falls experience as it goes through the park past the Rainforest and ends on the Victoria Falls Bridge across the Zambezi River.

The team will travel to Harare for more activities that include touring farms, mines as well as the Parliament Building and Heroes’ Acre.

Tonight, Minister Mutsvangwa is expected to host a gala dinner for the crew at a Harare hotel. Mr Conrad Mwanza, one of the organisers said: “Our programme kicked off in the world-famous Victoria Falls and will filter into different areas of Zimbabwe for the best first-hand experience for our guests and the people of Zimbabwe.”

The country is targeting a US$5 billion tourism industry by 2025 and in 2020 President Mnangagwa launched the National Tourism Recovery Strategy whose vision is to revive local tourism towards making Zimbabwe a destination of choice.

Speaking in separate interviews, delegation members said they were charmed by Victoria Falls’ scenic nature and hospitality.

“This is all inspiring. The beauty of nature,” said Maake Ka Ncube at the rainforest.

Earlier he said: “I am in Zimbabwe and what brings me is the tour that is organised by the media who asked me to come and join them. The hospitality is just so warm. This is how I have always known Zimbabweans to be.”

This is his 4th time in Zimbabwe and only second time in Victoria Falls. Mbele said it is her first time in Victoria Falls and she is enjoying every bit of it as the tour is also a breather from her busy film-producing schedule.

“Last night we went to the Boma, it was amazing. I have done Bomas before but I think this Boma was a Boma with a difference. The drum aspect of it is so theatrical and interactive,” she said.

“I think Zimbabwe has come a long way and I would urge people to come and support the tourism side of Zimbabwe, relax and enjoy. Come to Zim guys.”

Majirata Latela, a journalist from Lesotho said: “It’s my first time here and it’s very beautiful. I am loving it. I wish I can stay here and come every day.”

Charlaine Camacho, an editor from South Africa said the beautiful nature of Victoria Falls was amazing.

“I am here as a guest of African Chrome Fields and I feel absolutely overwhelmed because I have never seen anything like this in my life. There is nowhere where you can stand and see the whole waterfall at once and getting wet is actually fun,” she said.

We Are Victoria Falls coordinator Ms Shelley Cox said destination Zimbabwe needs ambassadors.

“The investment to bring the media together for a trip of this nature to showcase the ongoing recovery efforts and experiences available to travellers will no doubt foster greater unity to showcase our region as a whole and generate awareness of the destination to our wider regional community.

“It is really positive to have the regional media representatives and influencers in Victoria Falls experiencing just a glimpse of what our spectacular destination has to offer and will allow these key influential media partners to become ambassadors of the region and our tourism offering here in Zimbabwe,” she said.

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