The Third Zimbabwe-Malawi Joint Tourism Technical Committee (JTTC) meeting was held in Lilongwe, Malawi from 23 to 24 November 2022. The meeting was Co-Chaired by Ambassador Raphael T. Faranisi, Secretary for Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry, and Mr. Chauncy Simwaka, Secretary for Tourism, Culture, and Wildlife, Malawi.
The objective of the meeting was to review progress on the implementation of the agreed areas of cooperation from the second JTTC meeting held in Zimbabwe in 2019. These areas of cooperation are derived from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Field of Tourism, which was signed by the two Governments in April 2015.
The JTTC is a platform to facilitate the exchange of experiences, expertise, and ideas to support and deepen tourism cooperation between the two countries. In his remarks, Ambassador Faranisi highlighted that the implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy which was launched by His Excellency, President Dr. Emmerson D. Mnangagwa, sets the pace for sustainable tourism growth and resilience building for the sector. It also outlines strategies meant to cushion the tourism players against the impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. Positive developments have been noted as evidenced by an increase in tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe, in the second half of 2022.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) designated the World Tourism Day 2022 Theme as, “Rethinking Tourism,” and as such, the JTTC meeting provided a platform for both countries to join hands in rebuilding their Tourism industries, following the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The JTTC explored a number of agreed Tourism cooperation areas, inter alia; Joint Marketing and Promotion Programmes, Promotion of Culture Heritage Sites and Sustainable Handicraft Production, Classification and Standardisation of Tourism Products and Facilities, Product Development, Exchange of Information, Sustainable Tourism Development, Tourism Investment and Collaboration in Training of Tourism Personnel and Capacity Building programmes for the countries’ Tourism Sectors.
The two Secretaries underscored the need for both countries to work together in order to revive the Tourism Sectors and make up for opportunities and revenue loss on account of COVID-19. With the deepening of Tourism cooperation through the JTTC platform, relations between the two countries are poised for growth and the Co-Chairs are committed to leaving a positive tourism legacy for future generations.
In conclusion, the two Secretaries reiterated the need for the Technical Officials from both countries to immediately start implementing all the agreed areas of cooperation earnestly and in accordance to identified timeframes, and report progress made in the fourth JTTC meeting, which will be hosted by Zimbabwe in 2023.
The Zimbabwe Delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary Amb R.T. Faranisi and comprised of Government officials, Parastatals, and relevant stakeholders.