BY TANYARADZWA NHARI ENVIRONMENT, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu has re-appointed Raynold Mawerera as the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) board chairman.
Mawerera, who was appointed ZTA substantive chairman in August 2021, will be deputised by Precious Sibiya.
Other board members include Rita Likukuma, Veneranda Munyoro, Beatrice Tonhodzayi, Tare Munzara, Precious Mazhande, Admire Ndlovu and ex-officio Winnie Muchanyuka.
Three more members will be announced in due course, according to ZTA.
Mawerera’s appointment comes as the tourism sector has been experiencing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to international travel restrictions, job and livelihood losses.
Speaking to NewsDay Business early this week, Mawerera said they will ride on the ZimBho campaign and other programmes to grow the industry.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) was the announcement of the new board, but you notice that the minister has infused the younger generation to join the board. So, it’s now a mixture of the longest serving and the newer fresher in mind,” he said.
“So, our hope is that we now have a fresh perspective from a youthful point of view but infusing it with the skills and experience of those that have been in the game much longer.
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“Yes, COVID-19 has been devastating; as you know from the time the pandemic struck the world just shut down. So it’s going to be a process of recovery. It’s not going to be a quick fix obviously because a lot of things went out of place.”
Mawerera said the ZimBho campaign and other programmes would encourage “our own people to visit their own home and other initiatives that are there for instance, we bring out the meeting incentives and conferences exhibitions programme”.
He said the industry must also reboot its capacity to handle anticipated future business growth.
According to the National Tourism Satellite Account, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has suffered a total loss of US$690 million due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism accounts for 4,25% of the national gross domestic product with a value of US$1,03 billion in 2018.
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