Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council is set to start assessing expressions of interest for the development of the Umguza Nature Park and Mazwi Nature Park, as the local authority moves to promote tourism to the city.
The development of the two parks is a concept that is expected to bring nature to the city which will see small animal population in both parks thriving on conserved flora, and forestry and are located less than 15 kilometres from the city.
The local authority’s senior public relations officer, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, said the expressions of interest for potential investors were due to close at the end of February.
“The concept of Umguza Nature Park and Mazwi Nature Park is to bring nature to the city. Both parks host a variety of game, conserved flora, fauna and forestry. The two have been marketed for that purpose in the recently published City of Bulawayo Investment Prospectus which seeks to attract potential investors in various sectors. Expressions of interest are due to close for consideration on 28 February 2017,” said Mrs Mpofu.
She also said the city was working with the Government, other cities and countries for other tourism programmes.
“We have co-operation with twin cities where we run various tourism programmes. The City of Bulawayo is also working with the Government of Zimbabwe, Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Tourism, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Amakhosi Cultural Tourism project on community based tourism,” Mrs Mpofu said.
She said these community programmes involve sharing and conducting community-based tourism and tours to tourism sites in the city.
The council, in 2015, also made available other sites open for private developers interested in promoting local tourism, and included the George Avenue Hotel site, Montgomery Hotel site, Umguza River Resort Centre among others.
They were also looking for private developers to rehabilitate facilities at the popular Hillside Dams.