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Tourism personalities for hospitality indaba

TOP Zimbabwean and regional tourism personalities converge in Bulawayo next month for the country’s premier hospitality indaba.

This year’s Hospitalit

y Association of Zimbabwe annual congress takes place at the School of Tourism and Hospitality in Bulawayo from May 11 to 13.

HAZ vice-president Fungai Mutseyekwa, who chairs the organising committee, this week said several top speakers had been lined up for this year’s congress.

“We have secured the participation of an impressive line-up of local and international speakers for this year’s congress,” he said.

The theme for this year’s congress is “Strategic Partnerships in Developing Hospitality”.

The theme seeks to build on the relationships that already exist between established players and small-scale players in the industry. The conference will look at how synergies can be harnessed for the growth of the sector.

“This year’s theme is a reflection of a realisation by the industry that the future of the sector lies in the creation of synergies both within the industry and oustide the sector,” he said.

One of the keynote speakers will be a representative of South Africa’s tourism black economic empowerment taskforce (Bee) who will share with Zimbabwean hoteliers that country’s experiences with the Bee initiative.

South Africa has already gazetted a draft Tourism Bee Charter and Scorecard which proposes a 10-year programme to be implemented in two phases of five years each.

Industries covered by the draft scorecard are split into three sectors.

The first group covers those in the accommodation sector which includes hotels, resort properties, and time-share, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and game lodges.

The second group is made up of those offering hospitality and related services. These include restaurants not attached to hotels and conference venues not related to hotels.

The third one comprises the travel distribution systems which include wholesalers, tour operators, travel agents, tourists guides, car hire and coach operators.

Mutseyekwa said the congress will also be used to honour several personalities who have contributed immensely to the growth of the hospitality sector.

Five awards are on offer. These are the HAZ Hospitality Award, the Creewel Plate Award, the David Geddes Award, the Eric Chademana Award and the Charles Bvunzawabaya Award.

The HAZ Hospitality Award is the industry’s most prestigious prize given to an individual who has served the sector with distinction.

“The awards are designed to offer recognition for excellence and effort and to encourage players in the industry and the association to work on improving their services,” said Mutseyekwa.

The indaba comes on the heels of the Miss Tourism World pageant that was jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism and the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism. — Staff Writer.

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