Zimbabwe and Malawi yesterday concluded the third meeting of the Joint Technical Tourism Committee (JTTC) designed to assess progress in areas of cooperation agreed by the two governments.
The meeting took place in Lilongwe, Malawi from Wednesday and ended yesterday.
It was co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi and Mr Chauncey Simwaka, the Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Wildlife in Malawi.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress on the implementation of agreed areas of cooperation since the second JTTC meeting held in Zimbabwe in 2019.
The areas of cooperation stem from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in tourism, which was signed by the two governments in April 2015.
The JTTC is a platform to facilitate the exchange of experience, expertise and ideas to support and deepen tourism cooperation between the two countries. In his remarks, Ambassador Faranisi said that the implementation of the National Strategy for the Recovery and Growth of Tourism launched by
President Mnangagwa is setting the pace for sustainable tourism growth and building the sector’s resilience.
The Tourism Strategy also outlines strategies designed to mitigate tourism actors against the impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
Positive developments have been noted following the gradual re-opening of international borders and territories, as evidenced by the increase in tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe in the second half of this year.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has set the theme for World Tourism Day 2022 as “Rethinking Tourism”.
As such, the JTTC meeting provided a platform for both countries to join hands in rebuilding their tourism industries post-Covid-19.
The JTTC explored a number of agreed areas of tourism cooperation, including joint marketing and promotion programs, promotion of cultural heritage sites and sustainable craft production, classification and standardization of tourism products and facilities, product development, information exchange, sustainable development of tourism, investment in tourism and cooperation in the training of tourism personnel and capacity building programs for the tourism sectors of the countries.
The two secretaries stressed the need for the two countries to work together to revive the tourism sectors and compensate for lost opportunities and revenue due to Covid-19.
With tourism cooperation deepening through the JTTC platform, the relationship between the two countries is poised for growth and the co-chairs are committed to leaving a positive tourism legacy for future generations.
Ambassador Faranisi and Mr. Simwaka reiterated the need for technical officials from both sides to immediately start seriously implementing all agreed areas of cooperation in line with the time frames and report on the progress made at the fourth JTTC meeting to be hosted by Zimbabwe next year.
The Zimbabwean delegation was led by Ambassador Faranisi and consisted of government officials, parastatals and relevant stakeholders.