Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is looking to learn from South Africa’s famed Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) tourism experience.
The country’s Tourism Authority (ZTA) confirmed that Zimbabwe this week sent representatives to the ongoing Meetings Africa 2018 event, an affair that seeks to boost investment across the continent.
Organised in part by the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), Meetings Africa has brought together business leaders, stakeholders and investors from across the region.
Zimbabwe, in particular, is looking to capitalize on a wide range of economic development opportunities following the recent stepping down of controversial leader, Robert Mugabe. The former Head of State had been labelled a hindrance to development.
Mugabe’s replacement, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been described as a welcome change to an arguably dictatorial regime, often citing the slogan; ‘Zimbabwe is open for business.’
Zimbabwe and South Africa seem to have a lot in common, according to World Bank reports. The two nations recently appointed new leaders in what pundits are calling historical elections. They are also two of the continent’s richest countries in terms of mineral deposits.
Leah Knott, MMC for Economic Development in the City of Johannesburg, this week encouraged delegates to explore, experience and enjoy Johannesburg during the Meetings Africa event.
MICE business, which refers to a type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for a particular purpose, is a major contributor to tourism economy.
Last year, Ethiopia hosted the MICE East Africa 2017 Forum & Expo, an international standard MICE Business event that was held in the political capital of Africa, Addis Ababa.
Zimbabwe’s move to capitalize on the same comes hot on the heels of a similar initiative by Rwanda’s government.
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital is also looking to exploit the MICE industry, which has seen varied levels of success in East Africa. According to data from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the 27th African Union Summit pumped an estimated $4.2 million into the country’s economy while roughly $2.4 million was received from the World Economic Forum (WEF), which were held in the country.
Zimbabwe is looking for similar, if not greater, numbers as well.