The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), which for years has been worried by lack of cleanliness in some of the country’s public places, has applauded President Mnangagwa for initiating the national clean-up campaign held last week, saying this will boost perception on Brand Zimbabwe.
The national clean-up campaign was officially launched by President Mnangagwa last month and the tourism sector took part in Friday’s clean-up campaigns held countrywide.
The President declared the first Friday of every month as National Clean-Up Day. The ZTA, in support of the noble cause, took part in the clean-up campaign in various parts of the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of the main clean-up in Bulawayo, ZTA acting chief executive Mr Givemore “Mr Tourism” Chidzidzi paid tribute to the tourism industry for leading from the front.
“Tourism thrives in a clean and disease-free environment. It becomes our prime responsibility as the sector to make sure that we maintain clean cities and cleanliness everywhere.
“It makes Brand Zimbabwe easy to market. The President did very well in coming up with this idea. The tourism industry has fully embraced it because it works in our favour.
“As the ZTA we are delighted by the enthusiasm shown by the tourism industry on the first clean-up. They have truly risen to the occasion.
“They put tremendous amount of work and provided a lot of support for the initiative throughout the entire country. We wish to commend the industry for taking such an active role and leading from the front.”
In Harare, the Central Business District was the area of focus for the tourism body.
Its staff went round the city and spent the better of the two hours of national cleaning working on the ever busy Simon Muzenda Bus Terminus (formerly Fourth Street).
They wound up the exercise at Tourism House where they cleaned their premises. Tourism thrives in a clean environment and the ZTA has always taken a solid position of making sure that this initiative becomes a success.
Mr Chidzidzi also implored all sectors to take greater interest in making sure that the monthly national clean-up exercise was a success.
He reiterated the benefits that accrue to Brand Zimbabwe if such initiatives were taken seriously by multi-sectoral components of the country.
“If all other sectors could come out in such full force, this initiative would definitely take off even faster,” he said.
“The benefits for Brand Zimbabwe are immeasurable and clear for everyone to see.”
He cited Rwanda as an example of how such dynamism positively impacted on the tourist receipts, which is one of the major revenue earners for that country.
Zimbabwe, he said, had potential to do far much better, but there was need for the citizens to take ownership
“Cholera, for instance, keeps tourists away from any country. But we all know that cholera is a product of lack of cleanliness. With a clean environment, chances of such diseases are very slim,” said Mr Chidzidzi.
The clean-up campaign was a major step towards stemming the outbreak of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and many other water-borne infections.
Such outbreaks have adverse impact on tourism and can cause extensive economic damage. To prevent the outbreaks of such infectious disease the country must provide adequate public sanitation, clean drinking water and instruction on good food hygiene.
However, providing these services requires a long-term commitment of significant resources, often with the assistance of international bodies such as the WHO and the UN.
Source : The Herald