Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is upping plans to reposition the country as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination, according to Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
A MICE Business Forum was held 10 October 2013 in Harare alongside the annual tourism showcase Sanganai/Hlanganani – World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair.
‘Tourism Business forums held during Sanganai are designed to provide an opportunity for participants to discuss certain Tourism development issues with the aim to develop the sector in Zimbabwe,’ Karikoga Kaseke, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Executive Officer said.
According to Mzembi, the MICE industry is one of the key drivers of destination development, an important generator of Income, employment and foreign Investment.
Beyond economic benefits, the MICE Tourism industry presents opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking, capacity building and regional cooperation.
The business forum aimed at creating a roadmap for positioning and promoting Zimbabwe as a MICE destination.
‘The development of MICE Tourism requires collaboration from the whole nation as MICE activities can be created by all. The business forum sought to enable the nation to identify their respective roles as we strive to position Zimbabwe as a MICE destination. The highly interactive forum explored the goals and strategies that will be put into place to ensure that Zimbabwe achieves its full potential in this important industry,’ a ZTA official said.
The business forum included the Chief Executive of Gaining Edge, Mr Gary Grimmer, an international MICE consultant who has worked with leading MICE destinations such as Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Berlin, Cape Town, Dubai, Singapore, Melbourne, Vancouver, Couston and San Juan.
Mr Grimmer was the lead consultant on the development of a national convention and events strategy for South Africa.
Also on the panel was Mrs Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Executive Manager of the South Africa Convention Bureau.