By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) says it is not possible to market the country’s tourist destinations without involving arts.
Arts and cultural activities have been used not only in Zimbabwe but across the continent to attract tourists and to provide entertainment at various tourism events.
Just a few weeks ago, Zimbabwe hosted the Harare International Carnival where several local, continental and international artists and arts groups took part.
Addressing the media, ZTA director of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda said they will continue to work with the arts industry in promoting the country’s tourism facilities.
“Like I said there is no way we can promote tourism without looking at our arts industry and I think this is a major reason we are having Intwasa coming on board during Sanganai/Hlanganani.
“Even when we have such events as the Harare International Carnival its mainly to do with arts this is also the reason why we have various countries coming to showcase their cultural products, so we can’t divorce ourselves from the arts, we are part of them so we will always work with authorities in the arts as well as players in the arts and the same can be said about the musicians.
“On a number of occasions we have worked with musicians in one or two projects, the reason is there is no way we can say we are promoting tourism without working with other players in those entities,” he said.
In its previous editions of Sanganai/Hlanganani, ZTA used to hold the Sanganai/Hlanganani Night where performing artists would take turns to provide entertainment.
To buttress its commitment to working with the arts sector in the country, ZTA has since signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
Chagonda added that in the past, ZTA would not collaborate with other entities owing to lack of resources to help in the staging of the events but added that going into the future they will cooperate in terms of ideas if it has no money.
Zimbabwe is in the process of promoting its destinations with a view to increasing the number of visitors to the country which has not been performing well in the last three-quarters.