Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE has rejoined the elite International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) after a two-year absence and hopes to gain increased tourism visibility out of the membership.
The association is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism and contributes millions of dollars to the global economy.
Acting director of the Zimbabwe National Convention Bureau, which falls under the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Ms Pauline Ndlovu, said the reintegration was a welcome and long-awaited move that will go a long way in attracting new conferences and conventions to Zimbabwe.
“It is indeed a pleasure to have rejoined ICCA and we look forward to partnering them in capacity building programmes and marketing activities,” she said.
ICCA African Chapter regional director, Esmare Steinhofel, also commended the reinstatement of Zimbabwe at the recently held IBTM World, a top global tourism exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.
“ICCA is ready to conduct MICE capacity building workshops together with the Zimbabwe National Convention Bureau to give the industry a boost towards knowledge of the sector,” she said.
Ms Ndlovu said Zimbabwe’s presence at IBTM World has also given them opportunity for training in use of the ICCA database in order to maximise benefits that can be derived from it.
These include securing conference leads, access to research and marketing tools as well as networking with other members of the association.
Other African countries have also expressed great joy in having Zimbabwe back on board saying the African Chapter will be stronger with more members.
Chairperson of the Durban International Convention Centre, Lindiwe Rakharebe, said:
“We are looking forward to having Zimbabwe take part in the upcoming 2020 ICCA events in South Africa, Innsbruck and China”.
IBTM remains one of the top events to gain visibility to new destination seekers and decision-makers in the business tourism industry.
This year’s edition of IBTM was focused among others, on technology and sustainability in MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) tourism and how players can maximise the use of upcoming technologies to make their business events stand out. — @pridesinstinctz