Tourism and Enviroment

Sustainable Tourism: ZTA Tourism Innovation Challenge 2023

Sustainable tourism is growing internationally, and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is holding its 3rd edition of the Tourism Innovation Challenge to boost it in Zimbabwe. Additionally, this year’s winner will receive USD5000 as seed capital for the project they submit.  Moreover, this challenge aims to create opportunities for young innovators to actively participate in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector. The ZTA has the authority to develop, manage and promote Zimbabwe. They also market Zimbabwe as a tourist destination in both the local and international markets.

The theme for this year’s challenge is sustainable tourism. Also, acceptable projects will foster preservation of natural and cultural heritage. They must attract sustainable tourists, bring economic benefits to local communities and effectively manage the destination. Additionally, projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to minimising the carbon footprint of the tourism industry will have high value in the challenge.

Also, those that support local businesses and promote responsible and ecological tourism practices will be particularly noticed as well. It is important to note that the projects should be creative, feasible, scalable and impactful in the long-term. The challenge seeks submissions that can transform the tourism sector in a meaningful and sustainable way. 

Sustainable tourism for business

Sustainable tourism helps businesses reduce their negative impact on the environment. They help reduce running costs, support the local economy and communities and enhance guest experiences. Locals in any area usually engage in sustainability in all their activities. This can range from farming using organic fertiliser to minimising waste in their day to day activities. Working with locals surrounding tourist destinations will create employment, boost economic growth and foster infrastructure development that helps locals. Also, these sustainable practices in tourism help combat climate change, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Furthermore, to boost sustainable tourism, some local entities that are running their destinations sustainably are Somalisa Camp, Ilala Lodge, Pioneers Camp and The Elephant Camp just to mention a few. Some of the changes they made include use of solar power to generate electricity for lighting and water heating for the destinations daily use. Also, others source their resources from locals and have their own gardens. 

The ZTA Tourism Innovation Challenge is looking for talent to join such practices. Some tourist players are embracing sustainable tourism and it is commendable that ZTA is working to include the youth in this initiative. This will shape the future of Zimbabwe’s tourism and improve its longevity. 

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