Brand Zim set for launch amid high expectations
THE Brand Zimbabwe campaign, designed to enhance the country’s domestic and international appeal to investors and tourists, will be launched in Harare today, with those in the tourism sector welcoming the move.
The tourism sector is on the rebound following two difficult years due to Covid-19 lockdowns that disrupted business in 2020 and 2021.
In Zimbabwe, tourist arrivals have been on the rise and are expected to accelerate as the world moves towards the festive season.
A number of airlines are presently fully booked as tourists travel to tourist attraction centres.
Similarly, investors are taking opportunities across all sectors of the economy as the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa continues to lure investment under the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, on Friday said attracting foreign direct investment and improving the performance of the tourism industry were critical pillars in Zimbabwe’s quest for an upper middle income society by 2030 as envisaged by President Mnangagwa.
She said the case for branding cannot be overemphasised. “It is common cause that a strong and positive country brand, both domestically and internationally, will attract tourists, investors, students and other visitors to our country,” she said.
“We envisaged that this initiative and exercise will help our country to plan, brand and position itself in the minds of our citizens, international stakeholders and global customers. It is our fervent hope that at the end of it all, our country will be there to put ourselves on the map with a positive identity.”
The Brand Zimbabwe project, added Minister Mutsvangwa, dovetails with the Second Republic’s policy of engagement and re-engagement and feeds into the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra being championed by the Government.
“Branding helps shape ourselves as a country. It reflects who we are and what we are aspiring to be and beyond,” she said.
“Zimbabwe is open for business. True to his mantra, His Excellency President Mnangagwa is going further with the development of this nation. He is committed to his mantra that ‘no one and no place shall be left behind’.”
Since the turn of the millennium when Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform programme, Western media houses have been relentlessly demonising the country and casting it as a pariah state, resulting in some investors leaving. The West, led by the United States and the European Union, imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, which remain to this day.
Apart from causing untold suffering among citizens, the sanctions have also scared investors and multilateral financiers and Zimbabwe has now resorted to using domestic resources for the huge infrastructure projects that are underway.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the agenda of growing national prosperity requires a new identity as well as best methods in the national work style.
The Covid-19 pandemic delayed the Brand Zimbabwe project launch, while the nation also channelled most of its energy and resources towards saving lives.
Those in the tourism sector welcomed the Brand Zimbabwe launch saying it will boost arrivals and consequently revenues.
Chikopokopo Helicopters general manager Mr Johannes Nkoma said they were happy with the launch at a time when their business was picking up momentum from less than 10 recreational flights this time last year to more than 20 now.
“We are happy about the launch of the Brand Zimbabwe. Some people in other parts of the world do not know about Victoria Falls yet it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World,” said Mr Nkoma.
“What makes us happier is that the platform will be able to market the country. It is not only about tourism, but investment in different sectors as well.
“Most people, not just in the tourism sector, are doing amazing things here in Zimbabwe, and what needs to be done is to market the country. So such an idea of marketing our country is a major boost to our sector and we are very happy.”
Employers Association for the Tourism and Safari Operators Association president, Mr Clement Mukwasi said: “We applaud the Second Republic for prioritising Brand Zimbabwe marketing and for prioritising investment promotion. We think that these two are going to take our economy to dizzy heights.
“Brand Zimbabwe is bringing together all industries. The launch of Brand Zimbabwe will see a rise in the number of people wanting to invest in our country given the nature of our foreign policy that attracts inward investment,” said Mr Mukwasi.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority head of corporate affairs, Mr Godfrey Koti, said marketing remains the centrepiece that develops the tourism sector.
“It is good for branding efforts to be co-ordinated,” he said. “It is important as a country that we defend and develop our brand and we are welcoming this initiative by the Government. We appeal and hope that the nation embraces this initiative so that we can work together in developing our country,” said Mr Koti.Herald