By Tamuka Charakupa
GOVERNMENT says it working on reviving tourism facilities in Manicaland Province following setbacks brought about by last year’s Cyclone Idai disaster.
Chimanimani district is home to some of the most visited tourism facilities which are at the moment not operating at full capacity due to the damage brought about by last year’s Cyclone Idai disaster.
Building Back Better is the new vision being implemented in the recovery process, with the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu confirming that government has dedicated resources to re-establish the district as a key tourism destination.
Speaking during his recent visit to Chimanimani, Minister Ndlovu said his ministry is working on a plan to establish new tourism and leisure centres using some of the rocks unearthed during the disaster.
“We have already started the process of reconstructing some of these facilities which were affected by the Cyclone. We hope that by end of year, we would have recreated some areas and we want to come up with more activities. There is an area where we believe we can use rocks that are around to create a pool where visitors can also relax there,” he said.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the growth of virtual tourism which was recently adopted by the tourism sector to remain in business when domestic and international travelling were restricted during the lock down period.
“We were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lock down and travel restrictions that followed. This in a way has become a blessing in disguise for the country because this in a way has opened huge opportunities and promotion of virtual tourism. This is a great development for the country given the current set up where everything is now online and the effect of the globalisation…….,” he said.
Minister Ndlovu singled out road connectivity and access as some of the challenges hampering the growth of domestic tourism in the country, highlighting that with an improved road network, prospects of tourism sector growth are high.