Harare (New Ziana)-Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Nqobizitha Ndhlovu on Tuesday appointed marketing expert, Ray Mawerera as the substantive board chairman of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Mawerera, who takes over from Precious Sibiya who was acting chair, is experienced in marketing and business leadership.
Sibiya assumes the post of vice chairperson of the ZTA board.
Mawerera’s appointment comes at a time when the tourism sector is going through unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is common knowledge that travel and tourism have almost come to a halt due to the Covid-19 induced travel and other restrictions. That notwithstanding, there are high expectations that the sector should rebound and make a meaningful contribution to national economic recovery.”
“In this regard I expect you to urgently finalise the recruitment of a substantive Chief Executive,” said Ndlovu.
The ZTA recently retired its long- serving chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke on health grounds.
Ndlovu said among the immediate tasks, Mawerera is expected to utilise Zimbabwe’s participation at the Dubai 2020 Expo to market the country’s vast tourist destinations.
“This global expo comes at a time when the country has not had many platforms to market the country and we need to grab this opportunity with both hands.
“I therefore expect a robust marketing campaign run by the ZTA to be put in place and finalised as soon as possible. Going forward, we need to upscale our destination awareness efforts and ensure improved visibility of destination Zimbabwe,” he said.
Ndlovu added: “As the world begins to open up, we need to position brand Zimbabwe as visibly as possible to benefit from the tourism traffic that will emerge post the pandemic. In doing so, there will be need to amplify our partnerships with the private sector as we cannot do without them in our efforts to promote the country.”