The Environment and Tourism Ministry of Zimbabwe has set up a steering committee to spearhead the country's tourism promotion ahead of the 2010 World Cup soccer extravaganza to be hosted by neighboring South Africa, a local media the Herald reported on Tuesday.
The ministry is expected to partner with key stakeholders to ensure the success of the program.
The ministry is currently engaged with key stakeholders to set up workable strategies aimed at improving tourist arrivals in the country ahead of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The committee is expected to work hand-in-glove with several stakeholders, among them the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, hoteliers, players in the tourism industry, Sports and Recreation Commission, Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Football Association and the corporate world to ensure a coordinated approach in the build-up to the World Cup.
An inter-ministerial committee chaired by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism together with her counterparts in ministries such as Sports, Education and Culture; Transport and Communication; Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, among others, is expected to co-ordinate the functions of the various sub-committees.
The government is doing its part to ensure that all goes according to plan with private sector participation expected to go a long way in capitalizing on South Africa's hosting of the World Cup.
Zimbabwe is expected to gain significant mileage from the month-long soccer showcase in terms of tourism revenue and employment creation.
To this end, the world's biggest soccer showcase is set to boost Southern Africa's economies and open up new prospects for business and tourism.
It is also anticipated that direct foreign investment will increase and earn Zimbabwe the much-needed foreign currency.
Tourism is one of the country's biggest foreign currency earners and has the potential to do even better given Zimbabwe's unequalled natural endowments such as teeming wildlife, the majestic Victoria Falls, the heart-stopping beauty of the Eastern Highlands and man-made historical monuments such as the Great Zimbabwe, among others.
It is anticipated that if Zimbabwe wins its bid to host the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, the country would have scored a major coup as this will open the doors to a flood of soccer enthusiasts and talent scouts.
Tourism accounts for about 6.5 percent of Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Product.