Tiff over command tourism

HARARE - Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke,  have differed sharply over plans to launch the Command Tourism programme.

The two have had well-publicised differences in the past.

In the latest clash, Mzembi is against the use of the word “Command” which he argues is not consistent with the charm offensive that his ministry and the ZTA have made in trying to reposition the country among best tourist destinations.

ZTA is a corporate body under the Tourism ministry whose responsibility is to manage and market Zimbabwe as a leading tourist destination in Africa and the world at large.

“I was talking to the vice president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) that ‘why don’t we introduce Command Tourism?’ We must introduce Command Tourism so that those who are doing what we don’t want to do, they should stop.

“They will be commanded to stop,” Kaseke told delegates at the Hlanganani/Sanganai 10th anniversary in Bulawayo last month that plans were underway to introduce Command Tourism.

“Those who are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, they must be commanded to do it.

“It’s an idea you can laugh at, but I am serious when I talk about Command Tourism because that is the issue,” he added.

His proposed tourism model seeks to ape the government’s Command Agriculture that is aimed at improving food security and promoting self sustenance among local farmers.

Mnangagwa — who is spearheading the scheme — has said it aims to ensure the country’s food self-sufficiency.

But Mzembi took the unusual step of highlighting Kaseke’s missteps on his proposed Command Tourism policy at the launch of the Economic Development in Africa Report 2017 in Harare on Wednesday.

“We don’t quite listen to each other that is why someone was advocating for Command Tourism and I said ‘please don’t use that word here, in tourism we charm’ . . . people come because we are attractive,” said Mzembi is a thinly-disguised jibe at Kaseke.

Zimbabwe expects tourist arrivals to increase in 2017 to 2,2 million, according to Parliament’s Budget Office, helping the recovery of a fragile economy as the country enjoys a third straight record year for tourism boom.

Tourism is an important component of the Zimbabwean economy and a key source of hard currency.

Comments (1)

Well said Mzembi!! Does anything have to be labelled command to suceed? And is this command agriculture successful? Kaseske you are off the ball and belong to the yester years . Its time you got replaced!! Charm Charm Charm idiot!!

Tom - 7 July 2017

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