By Yolanda Moyo
The Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism strategy has come under the spotlight as the local tourism promotion body intensifies its ‘Meet in Zim Campaign’ as part of efforts to turnaround the tourism sector.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has taken the ‘Meet in Zimbabwe Campaign’ to the international arena as it pursues strategies to propel recovery of the tourism sector.
In an interview with ZBC News in Bulawayo this Monday, ZTA Chief Operating Officer, Mr Givemore Chidzidzi said MICE has been identified as one of the quick wins in the recovery of the tourism sector.
“We have taken the campaign beyond our borders, and we have been participating at specialised MICE shows around the world. The focus now is on encouraging Zimbabweans to bid for conferences, attract meetings and events, while ZTA provides technical assistance to the associations and companies that would submit the bids to create winning bids. We are also creating capacity in the MICE industry which has not been focused on for some time,” he said.
Linking MICE tourism to economic sectors of the country has been identified as one of the key strategies in selling Zimbabwe internationally.
Ms Lee-Anne Bac BOD GLOBAL said, “What we need is a holistic experience. It’s not about having venues, but also good quality accommodation which goes with it. We need to work together as an industry to package opportunities so that we attract MICE tourism. Looking for events that link to our economy and look at how we can grow those initially and we start to grow from there. MICE is not just about tourism it is about economic growth, and it is about the various industry sectors and which the conference is about as well. It is about everyone playing together.”
The MICE industry is regarded as a key feature in tourism recovery as it gives access to global events that translate into international arrivals.
Meanwhile, the ZTA has, through the National Convention Bureau, secured international membership with the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.