Tourism experts say Zimbabwe will face serious financial challenges in its bid to embark on a multi-million dollar advertizing blitz to rebrand the country in preparation for next year’s United Nations World Tourism Organization’s congress to be held in Victoria Falls.
The experts said it is unlikely that Zimbabwe will raise over $3 million for the adverts as it is currently struggling to pay civil servants and fund capital projects.
State coffers are running dry due to the country’s sluggish economic growth and meager revenues being generated through diamond sales in Marange, Manicaland Province.
According to Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi, the first advert will be flighetd on Cable News Network at a cost of $1.5 million. Other targeted stations include Aljazeera, South African Broadcasting Corporation, British Broadcasting Corporation and France 24.
Tourism expert Siphambaniso Moyo of Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls commends Zimbabwe for attempting to rebrand the nation’s battered image.
The tourism industry has recorded a significant growth since the formation of the unity government in 2009 despite continuous friction within the ruling partners.
The sector was decimated during the height of political tensions between President Robert Mugabe’s then ruling Zanu PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangai’s Movement for Democratic Change.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s congress which is expected to attract thousands of delegates will be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia