Africa: Bulawayo youths launch tourism company
A group of youthful entrepreneurs in Bulawayo have joined hands to set up a tourism and safari company, which they believe will be a game changer in the lucrative, but stuttering industry.
Abatsha Tours and Safaris operations manager Sinokuthaba Zakhele told NewsDay Weekender that part of their grand vision, apart from offering exciting travel and tourism packages is to create employment .
She narrated the rags to success story of her company which she proudly believes is going to facelift the domestic safari and tourism industry by exploring untapped markets, especially in the country’s unpopular tourist sites.
“Abatsha Tours and Safaris was established by a group of business-minded youths in 2017. Firstly, it started by facilitating tourism projects then thought of upgrading to form a company that would later sustain us in the near future, since we were unemployed youths. The company was officially registered this year in August and started operating in November,” she said.
For the outgoing and holidaymakers, the new baby in the safari fraternity offers a wide range of services.
“We provide travel agency, tours, hunting, hospitality, cultural explores and exhibitions. The company’s main objective is to develop or resuscitate neglected tourist resorts. It also seeks to create employment for youths in remote areas, whereby it will teach them professional skills that boost the tourism industry,” Zakhele said.
The eight-member group has sought the services of two experts to help them tailor-make products which will be affordable to ordinary Zimbabweans and foreign tourists.
“We, as a company are keen to see domestic tourism boom. We will offer lucrative tailor-made holiday packages that will encourage our local clients to travel and explore Zimbabwe at reasonable, affordable prices.
Rather sad that many people in Zimbabwe are familiar about other tourist destinations in other countries at the expense of theirs, and during holidays they take their families to rural areas or to nearby braai spots or churches or visit other countries like South Africa where they have relatives, but don’t bother about Mana Pools,” she said adding that some people don’t even know about other prominent national parks in the country.
Responding to questions on how her company will manage to come up with tailor-made packages, Zakhele believes government should chip in by encouraging people to appreciate domestic tourism.
“I think government should also come up with means to motivate especially civil servants to visit tourist sites during their vacation even by coming up with tourism packages as incentives.
“Major players in the tourism sector should also come up with special tourism packages for residents and let the people of Zimbabwe know about these specials to close the information gap,” Zakhele added.
Safari in Zimbabwe 2018-19 review, as espoused by Expert Africa, winner of the Times Travel Editor’s Award 2017, believes Zimbabwe’s safari is back on track.
“Today, Zimbabwe is getting back on track. Politically, it still has some tensions, as many countries do, but the general situation has improved considerably and the country is far more stable. Tourism, in particular, is recovering. Which is great news for safari lovers.
“Home to abundant wildlife, top-of-the-range guides and good lodges, Zimbabwe has all the ingredients for the perfect safari holiday. However, in the decade between 2000 and 2010, its politics caused great damage and distress, and the number of tourists plummeted,” the review read.
The review added: “In the heart of southern Africa, land-locked Zimbabwe is a vibrant country with dramatic landscapes, impressive national parks and a welcoming people. After some difficult years, it is now returning to its rightful place on Africa’s safari circuit.
BY JOEL TSVAKWI