Tourism offices take a hit

The Bulawayo Publicity Association is facing serious financial challenges, making it impossible for it to effectively market the city’s tourists attractions.

The Bulawayo Publicity Association offices in Bulawayo.

The Bulawayo Publicity Association offices in Bulawayo.

The association’s director, Val Bell, told The Zimbabwean that financial problems had affected the association’s publicity programmes.

“We have suspended some of our publicity programmes because of cash shortages. We used to attend international travel shows such as the annual Durban travel indaba in South Africa where we used to market our tourist attractions, but we are unable to do that at the moment,” said Bell.

She said the association was also forced to suspend its local and international tourism workshops.

The association’s offices currently do not have access to internet and it is limping along with a skeleton staff of two full time employees. Despite the challenges facing her organisation, Bell said the tourism sector in the city had greatly improved since the formation of the inclusive government in 2009.

“Overland tourists have been very supportive last year. These tourists had stopped coming to Zimbabwe, but last year Matobo national park recorded big over landing buses with an average of 20 to 30 people a week. Even most of the lodges in Hwange and Victoria Falls have been busy this year,” she said.

Bell also revealed that her association, in conjunction with Jeoff Cook, a UK-based steam train enthusiast, would this year be organising steam train tours from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo.

“These planned steam train tours will bring together all steam train enthusiasts from all over the world. We have already started publicising this initiative,” she said.

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Post published in: Africa News
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