Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Malawi and Zimbabwe to cooperate on tourism 2015, the two countries recently held the first joint tourism technical committee meeting where, among others, they agreed to have a joint destination marketing committee by September 2017.
The committee will comprise experts from the tourism industry as well as players from institutions that offer support services to the tourism industry.
The Zimbabwean team was led by the Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry Thokozile Chitepo while the Malawi team was led by the Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Cliff Chiunda.
According to Chiunda, the parties underlined the need to work towards the full implementation of the signed MoU in order to demonstrate their firm determination towards strengthening reliable, transparent and competitive tourism industries and increased tourist inflows between the two countries.
“The areas of cooperation under this MoU include joint marketing programmes, product development and diversification and information sharing hence the meeting resolved that by September 2017, we should have a joint destination marketing committee.
“This will help to increase inflow of tourists as the two countries will be marketed as one package,” Chiunda said.
He further said the committee also resolved that there should be promotion of cultural heritage sites and sustainable handicrafts production through joint creation of cultural circuits, joint participation in artistic and cultural events and joint programmes for community development and empowerment among others.
“We also agreed to harmonise our grading systems by December 2018 and also undertake continuous research and exchange of information on product development policies,” he said.
Chiunda also said the two countries will be sharing information on ease of doing business reforms to encourage local participation and investments into the tourism industry.