Bianca Mlilo, Business Reporter
THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has partnered with the local tourism and hospitality sector to roll out a staff training programme meant to improve skills and operational efficiency.
The training sessions are offered to cooks, waiters and housekeeping staff free of charge and have already started in Victoria Falls.
Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators (EATSO) president, Mr Clement Mukwasi, said the sector welcomes the partnership which will have a positive impact.
He said the resort town of Victoria Falls would benefit immensely from the training that would enhance their operational standards in line with international best practice.
“An educated employee is an informed one. As industry we will work with students under training and ensure that we provide the facilities for their practical lessons,” said Mr Mukwasi.
He said continued engagement of the world tourism body with Zimbabwe would open more marketing opportunities for local companies and bolster confidence in the country’s tourism sector.
The UNWTO in 2013 held its general assembly in Zimbabwe jointly hosted with Zambia and went on to sponsor legacy projects in the resort town in the form of a swimming pool.
“As a town we welcome such developments that are likely to spur growth of our sector and economy in general,” said Mr Mukwasi.
Meanwhile, tourism players have been encouraged to refocus their operations so as to build momentum this year and continue attracting more arrivals into the country.
Recent reports indicate that last year in December, the sector witnessed a drop in arrivals from the American market but capacity increased after December 22 with the hosting of the Jameson Carnival.
A number of companies said during the carnival period business improved greatly with a high demand for both accommodation facilities and activities.
“We were all busy across the board with most operators operating at 100 percent capacity. As activity providers, there was a high demand for both our high adrenaline activities as well as the safari ones,” said an official from Shearwater Adventures.