Youth tourism conference kicks off in Bulawayo

by Patience Rashai

The Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism’s (ZYT) five-day conference has kick started in Bulawayo aimed at incorporating African youths into the tourism sector, as well as marketing Brand Zimbabwe.

“The second edition of this conference is set to provide a platform for youths to discuss and proffer solutions on issues affecting the advancement of youths in tourism in Africa,” said ZYT secretary general, Stuart Matizwa.

“And the outcomes of these discussions will be used to lobby for policy changes to facilitate the mainstreaming of tourism into the education system across the continent and a single destination vision among African youths.”

The conference also presents youths in tourism with a platform to market Brand Zimbabwe as well as create synergies with other youths within the continent in order to enhance their business entrepreneurial skills.

The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Prisca Mupfumira contends the need to inculcate youths into the tourism sector.

“We need to nurture our youths to play critical roles in eradicating poverty and participating fully in the development of societies through different platforms including tourism. As a ministry, we have already put tourism policies and frameworks that support and encourage youth participation in tourism projects,” she said.

This platform will also provide continental exposure to the youth for the expression and fulfilment of their talents, aspirations and career opportunities within the tourism industry.

The main conference will start on this Thursday, while 21 and 22 September are the days set aside for tours in and around Bulawayo for all local and international delegates. While the youth will join in the world tourism day celebrations in Victoria Falls on 23 September.

This year's African Youth in Tourism Conference is being held under the theme, ‘Fostering Tourism Development and Innovation in Africa through Youth participation.’