By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) says it will improve its assistance to the Zimbabwe Championships of Performing Arts (ZiCOPA).
ZiCOPA is going to represent Zimbabwe at the world championships in California, the United States of America where about 63 countries will be competing from 3rd to 15th of July.
However, owing to lack of adequate resources ZiCOPA will only be sending a delegation of 13 (10 performers and 3 officials) thanks to well-wishers and parents of the children who have contributed towards the trip.
Speaking at a delegation send-off function, ZTA head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said while his organisation is financially hamstrung owning to poor budget allocation, they will be doing more to work with ZiCOPA.
“Right now our help has been more in the form publicity of their programs through organising press conferences with the media, but going forward we will do more, we are definitely going to do what we can.
“But for now this is the small part that we played because they are selling Zimbabwe, selling destination Zimbabwe. We urge corporates to come and support this cause as much as we can,” he said.
ZTA had requested about US$17 million from the treasury in the 2018 national budget so that it can effectively carry out its brand and destination marketing activities most of which involves travelling outside the country and attending various tourism events and fairs.
However, their plea for adequate funding appears to be finding no takers at the ministry of finance despite tourism being labelled the country’s lowest hanging fruits capable of producing quick results.
Speaking at the same occasion ZiCOPA co-founder Nyarayi Jessica Tandy thanked ZTA for coming on board adding that they are aware that it’s not going to be easy to attract corporate sponsors without growing the brand first.
“It’s normal, what is happening is normal; we have known that it’s going to take time, we need to first make it a big brand that is also inclusive and also that the championships begin from here and ensure that those from the US also come here,” she said.
According to Tandy, this year’s edition of the world championships will see Zimbabwe participating for the 3rd time.–