'Carnivals are destination marketing tools'

HARARE - Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke wants the country to use the inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival set for May as an essential destination marketing tool.

The ZTA boss made the remarks during the official opening of a training programme being conducted by a Brazilian company for carnival stakeholders in Harare which will end on Friday.

“Let me confirm that carnivals the world over where they are held, have proven to be very popular and a unifying force among people and provide a big marketing platform comparable to travel shows”, said Kaseke.
 
‘So we want to create another essential destination marketing platform where we sell, apart from tourism, Zimbabwe in its entirety.  In our view this will boost tourism in our country.”

Kaseke believes Zimbabwe cannot afford to ignore carnivals since they have become popular marketing among big tourist markets.

“The concept of carnivals is new to Zimbabwe despite the fact that they are held in many countries especially those that are serious about tourism.

“Carnivals do have numerous downstream social and economic benefits.  Let me give an example of Brazil, the country we have chosen to be our mentors, when they host their carnival in Sao Paulo, is five nights of parades for almost 120 000 people and the city hosts about 30 000 tourists generating approximately US$256 million income.

“It is said that it creates almost 25 000 direct and indirect jobs in 52 economic sectors,” added the ZTA boss.

The inaugural Zimbabwe International Carnival will take place in Harare between May 21 and 26 will run under the theme: Celebrating Our Diversity.

According to Kaseke the theme was chosen because it captures their desire to use the carnival to showcase Zimbabwe’s cultural, political and socio-economic diversity.

‘The event will also be a vehicle to exhibit the creativity of our designers and resourcefulness of our people across the cultural divide.”

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