Women key in development of tourism

Staff Reporter

THE Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry told the key stakeholders in
the tourism sector gathered at Hala Hotel, Bindura to make their input into the review of the
National Tourism Policy that women are key actors in the development of tourism.
Sherry Sibanda speaking on behalf of the Secretary for the Ministry, Ambassador Raphael Faranisi,
said the National Tourism Policy needed to take into consideration issues from the grassroots,
communities and stakeholders as they are custodians of the valuable resources.
“We want to promote the mainstreaming of women, youth and people with disabilities to
participate in mainstream tourism activities for their socio-economic benefits like any else.
Women’s initiatives in mainstream tourism and sustainable community-based tourism projects in
line with economic empowerment of women, must be encouraged and supported,” she said.
“By any means the Ministry will ensure equality in the conditions of employment of women and also
promote the respect for the dignity of women in the development, marketing and promotion of
tourism. Women should be given equal access to funding for tourism development as their male
counterparts and their participation in local, regional and international exhibitions to create market
linkages and networking in a bid to support gender equality and community development should be
In terms of inclusivity, she said that the Ministry and the Government were working hard to include
youths and people with disabilities as well and the policy should capture the aspiration of the
government, private sector to come up with strategies that ensure all.
“We have tried to include youths and women; that is why we have chapters in the Ministry that are
women in tourism and youth in tourism. We have also incorporated people with disability. We are
working hard as a Ministry to try to include everyone as the mantra says no one should be left
behind. We have given youths and women a lot of incentives just to bring them up to the same level
with the other tourism players.
“The policy should encourage youths to be involved in the tourism supply chain so as to create
employment and alleviate poverty among youths. I’m sure the policy will capture that incentives are
put in place so that youth participation in tourism will be encouraged, bearing in mind that they
constitute more than 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s population. Our Ministry will also deliberately and
affirmatively license youth participation in agro-based tourism enterprises in order so that their
economic interests will be unlocked,” said Sibanda.

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