The Sunday News
Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo Publicity Association (BPA) is set to release an eight-minute video meant to market Bulawayo and surrounding tourist destinations to the international community.
Speaking to Sunday Business in an interview, BPA director Mrs Valerie Bell said the association will soon release a DVD to market Bulawayo, Matopos, Hwange and Victoria Falls.
“We are almost done with doing an eight-minute video which will be released as a DVD in the near future. The DVD will be to market Bulawayo, Hwange, Matopos and Victoria Falls,” said Mrs Bell.
She said the DVD is set to market Bulawayo as a historical, cultural and business destination.
“In the DVD Bulawayo is marketed as a historical, cultural and business destination. We are showing the art, the traditional dance and the rich history that you can find in Bulawayo. We are also showing that if you come to Bulawayo there is a lot of activity and nearby tourist destinations like Matopos, Hwange and the Victoria Falls being connected to Bulawayo by train and road,” Mrs Bell said.
She said once the DVD is out the association will make sure that it reaches the international community through an effective distribution process.
“We will distribute the DVD to be played in places like airports and other places so that it can be seen by international tourists. We will also distribute it when we go to travel shows around the world and region. It will also be sold here at our offices,” Mrs Bell said.
She also said BPA was also involved in other publicist activities like having an advert in world travel guides publications that are published in Britain and Australia.
“As an association we also got a deal with travel guide publications in Britain and Australia that they would put our advert in once a year in their publications as a favour for the help we give them when they are in the country,’’ said Mrs Bell.
Mrs Bell, however, said tourism in the country was facing challenges from the known three issues, too many police roadblocks, the use of Visa cards and the fact that Zimbabwe is considered as an expensive destination among other issues.
“As for the tourism sector there are three issues that need to be addressed, the police every five minutes on our roads, the fact that tourists are not able to use their Visa cards because tour operators do not accept them and that Zimbabwe is an expensive destination,” Mrs Bell said.
According to a Zimbabwe Visitor Exit Survey (VES) Report for the year 2015/2016 high prices of goods and services and harassment by the police and immigration officials are the major factors that deter tourists from visiting the country.
High prices contribute 63,2 percent of the negative perception about Zimbabwe while police harassment contributes 43,2 percent.