THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is working on a strategy to transform the Joshua Nkomo Heritage Trails into a fully-fledged and viable tourism product.
On Monday, the country marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Dr Joshua Nkomo. In Bulawayo scores of people participated in the Joshua Nkomo legacy walk and the Umdala Wethu dance.
ZTA acting chief executive, Mrs Rita Likukuma, said a viable tourism model needs to be built around the legacy of the late Father Zimbabwe for travel and leisure purposes.
“The trails, when properly packaged, can benefit communities as they often lead to the heart of communities as is the case with the Joshua Nkomo Heritage Trails,” she said.
“My team is on the ground with me and they have taken note of how to develop this product, we will reconvene with the trust (Joshua Nkomo) to map a solid way forward to bring this dream to life.
“We remain committed to working with other relevant partners in developing these trails until they are a fully-fledged tourism product.”
Mrs Likukuma said part of their role as ZTA was to identify and develop tourism products that have potential to enhance product offering hence in 2018 they partnered with the trust in launching “The Joshua Nkomo Tourism Heritage Trails”.
Heritage and tourism trails are routes that seek to take one on a historic journey around a particular event or a person. Trails have become a new phenomenon not only in Africa but globally. “As a nation we value our founding fathers for the role they played in liberating our great nation, hence our story as a nation can never be complete without their mention,” said Mrs Likukuma.
Zimbabwe has been listed by The Lonely Planet as one of the top tourism destinations to visit in 2019.
“More than ever we are challenged to do better so that we not only maintain our position as number one, but ensure that when we start to receive the anticipated influx of domestic and international tourists we have a diverse tourism product offering. One of our tourism pillars as a tourism destination is our rich history and culture,” said Mrs Likukuma.
She said global statistics from the United Nations’ cultural and tourism have indicated that heritage tourism contributes more than 40 percent to world tourism arrivals.
For the past five years, the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Restoration Project Trust has hosted the Joshua Nkomo legacy walk in commemoration of the late Vice President due to his compassionate nature.