GWERU – Gandavaroyi Gorge, along Munyati River is a giant tourist attraction lying idle in Gokwe North which needs to be kindled, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Barbra Rwodzi has said.
Speaking at the United Nations World Tourism Day celebrations held at Midlands State University MSU on Thursday, Rwodzi said Midlands Province, particularly Gokwe could be one of the upmarket destinations both for domestic and international tourists if its tourism tapestries were revamped.
“I am charmed that we still have a number of untapped tourism opportunities in this province. There are a lot of places that need marketing in the Midlands province. I am informed that there is Gandavaroyi Gorge in Gokwe North which needs to be turned into a tourism hub considering its potential.
“We need to publicise these developments and change the face of Gokwe and other places and attract more tourists as this is the best way to promote domestic tourism,” she said.
She said the Covid-19 epidemic affected the tourism sector however following the relaxation of the restrictions and the vaccination drive there was a significant rise in tourist arrivals.
“During the first half of 2022, the sector registered 115 % rise in tourist arrivals to 352 719 compared with the same period in 2021 where the international arrivals received were 164 062.
“The tourist receipts also increased by 121 percent in 2022 to US$337,5 million compared to US$152,8 million in 2021. A 79% increase in new investments was also registered this year with a total of US$96 .5 million recorded,” she said.
She said new tourism facilities were going to be constructed in Gokwe to market Gandavaroyi Gorge and Falls.
In his remarks on behalf of Midlands Provincial Minister, Larry Mavima, Midlands Director for Economic Affairs Kosheni Mtisi echoed the same sentiments saying the province unearthed a lot of potential tourism hubs with opportunities that can boost the province’s economic development.
“As we Rethink Tourism,I would like to inform you that the Midlands province has a lot of untapped tourism opportunities ranging from hotel, accommodation, conferencing, cultural heritage, national parks and wildlife, dams and other features like the giant and scenic Gandavaroyi Gorge in Gokwe North.
“Gandavaroyi Gorge and Falls is one of the best examples with great potential of becoming tourism hubs. All these if tapped can contribute to the growth of this province,” he said.
He said the majestic Victoria Falls was once such a sleeping giant in the midst of the forests until it was identified and marketed.
This year’s World Tourism Day Celebrations were held under the theme: Rethinking Tourism.