Luciano, Joe and Beyonce To Rescue Zim Tourism

Terence Mapurisana (ZBC/ZTV) Interviewing Luciano 'The Messenger' in ZimbabweThe Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is on a mission to try and revive the once thriving tourism sector through their Perception Management Programme. The programme involves bringing opinion leaders and celebrities to the country who will then hopefully go on to share their experience of Zimbabwe with the world.

Late last year the ZTA invited Jamaican reggae star Luciano aka “The Messenger” to Zimbabwe where he performed hits such as ‘One Away Ticket‘ at the Jacaranda Jazz Festival held at the City Sports Centre. During his visit he had a few inspirational words for the people of Zimbabwe and was full of praise towards the Government and President Robert Mugabe’s efforts towards true independence. Joe 'Joe' Thomas Stepping off Air ZimbabweA few weeks ago American R&B sensation Joe Thomas commonly known as “Joe” who is well known for the hit song ‘Good Girls‘ visited the Republic. He didn’t seem to have a lot to say and stayed quite neutral when it came to issues related to the government. He was reported to have been paid around US$50,000 for his visit.

Most people understand the concept that you have to spend money to make money but I don’t know if spending that amount of money on musicians will do a lot to revive tourism. Yes, there may be a lot of hype around the period of their arrival but that dies down after their departure and life in Zimbabwe goes on as per normal. The musicians go back to doing what they do in their everyday lives with their pockets a little fatter. What the ZTA wants is for these musicians to act as ambassadors for Zimbabwe but I don’t see that as being much help especially when one of them was reported to have said he had not really heard of Zimbabwe until he was invited to the country.

Beyonce Knowles in Zimbabwe?The amount of money that the ZTA has spent on bringing Luciano and Joe to Zimbabwe could have gone to much better use. There are a number of ways in which the government could have used the rare foreign currency to benefit the people of Zimbabwe. I am not an expert on marketing but I am sure there are a number of long term measures they can implement to try and revive tourism. The ZTA say they also have stars such as Beyonce Knowles lined up to perform in Zimbabwe. With her international acclaim it will cost a fair penny to have her perform. If she does perform will it be money well spent or just a waste?

2 Responses to Luciano, Joe and Beyonce To Rescue Zim Tourism

  1. Sebastian March 7, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    Wow!US$50 000.00 is that how much they paid Joe? Surely how can they justfy spending that kind of money on such one off visits.
    The country may get that little bit publicity but I don’t think they will generate enough revenue through these efforts to justfy expenditure invovled.

    ZTA should be working hard together with the government to improve tourists attractions and infrastructure in the country. They should be looking at making it easy for tourists to travel to Zimbabwe and also within the country.

  2. Living Zimbabwe March 9, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    My point exactly Sebastian. That amount of money could have gone to much better use. A number of improvements need to be made to tourist attractions and infrastructure. There is no point in promoting a place if it is falling apart and not in the best shape it can be in. Hopefully they will realize this soon and make the necessary changes.

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