Victoria Falls Reporter
THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has set aside $80 000 towards the construction of a traditional set up accommodation at Mpisi village on the outskirts of Victoria Falls, an official said.In this light, Mpisi village run by Chief Mpisi of Monde village is going to be set up as a general assembly satellite village under its Sustainable Tourism for Elimination of Poverty (STEP) programme.
Addressing people gathered for a tree planting event at Mpisi village on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ms Margaret Sangarwe, said the venue would be a tourist attraction, affording delegates a local experience with traditional cuisine, arts and crafts.
Earlier officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), tour and adventure operators embarked on a tree planting exercise at the general assembly venue, Elephant Hills Resort where over 50 trees where planted.
“While we are all aware that the main venue will be Elephant Hills Resort, Mpisi village has been declared a satellite venue or village for everyday activities during the course of the general assembly. The village will be used to showcase our culture, that is the food we eat and our traditional ways of living. At the same time UNWTO has released $80 000 for setting up of a “votel” set up for accommodation of tourists.
A “votel” is a village hotel made from pole and dagga under thatch and tourists will be sleeping on traditional mates. The money will also be used to spruce up the village,” said Ms Sangarwe.
She said cultural tourism was one way her ministry was diversifying tourism.
“My ministry is moving towards diversifying the tourism product. This product should include our culture and education since we are number one in terms of literacy rate in the continent among other things. We are also working in conjunction with Museums and Monuments in setting up shrines in places where liberation war heroes are laid. So tourism is not all about the Victoria Falls Rainforest or the big five animals, it encompasses everything in our lives and what we have to do is make sure that we do enough to attract tourists,” she said.
Ms Sangarwe said planting of trees at the conference venue and at Mpisi village was aimed at making the general assembly a green event.
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