GOVERNMENT has ordered the Department of Parks and Wildlife to link up with players in the tourism sector and turn dam sites in Manicaland into vibrant holiday destinations to grow the provincial economy.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Manica Post early this week, Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza said most dams in the province are lying idle.
“We had a discussion with the Park and Wildlife Management officials as we encouraged them to engage the respective local authorities and their counterparts in the tourism sector for the development of dam sites into vibrant tourist attractions.
“We have Osborne Dam which is quiet in terms of tourism. That dam is a tourist attraction. Recently there was a boating extravaganza at Osborne Dam and it attracted many people. We want that to be a permanent feature at Osborne Dam.
“The guys with Parks are being asked to open up such facilities and ensure players in the tourism sector do business. Just recently the provincial leadership of the Parks department briefed me that they have received money which will be used to upgrade the dam facilities into proper tourist attractions,” he said.
Mr Seenza said there were several dams in the province that need to have their holidaying facilities upgraded.
He said the smaller dams also have the capacity to draw locals to visit.
“The promotion of the tourism industry is vital in growing the provincial economy and we have to ensure that all the tourist attractions in the province are capacitated fully so that they contribute immensely to the national purse,” he said.
At over US$620 million, travel and tourism contributed 4,1 percent to Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product in 2020.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development recently reported that the country’s tourism industry is headed towards exciting times following last year’s solid growth.
It is projected that the growth will reach between 15 to 20 percent in the next two years.