Government through the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Environment has acquired 650 vehicles worth $50 million from the Indian Eximbank, to improve tourism and conservation efforts in the country
The fleet which includes buses, lorries, ambulances among other vehicles will be used in the fight against poaching, veld fires as well as improving domestic tourism.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi said the fleet will benefit the country in terms of tourism development.
“The buses will be used to facilitate domestic exposure trips and revive the spirit of school trips,” said Minister Mzembi.
Minister Mzembi said the exposure trips support President’s initiative, which is known as the “Know your country and know your Zimbabwe” initiative.
“The idea of taking kids out on school trips has disappeared and the President wishes to see this product continuing.
The vehicles have come at the right time and they will enable us to revive domestic tourism,” said minister Mzembi
He also said that his ministry through Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will facilitate exposure trips using some of the buses.
Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, complemented the both ministries for coming up with solutions which counter the myriad problems being faced by the country.
“It is indeed humbling to note that Zimbabweans in these very difficult times are able to come up with solutions that improve tourism and conversation efforts in the country.
She also said that without government and donors rendering support, it is difficult for parastatals like Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority to fund themselves.
“The current model has proven and demonstrated that it is very difficult for conservation to be wholly funded and sustained without government, donor, private sector and international support.
“Today’s handover ceremony is therefore a clear demonstration of the complementary role between tourism and conversation.
“The vehicles will help the Authority carry out and achieve anti-pouching work and field deployments and ultimately enhance tourism in Zimbabwe,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, HE Mr Surinder Kumar Datta said the vehicles came after realizing Zimbabwe’s potential in the tourism sector.
“There was need for these vehicles so that the industry contributes a significant amount to the Gross domestic product,” he said.