By Portia Sigauke
Zimbabwe is set to host the first edition of Africa Youth in Tourism Conference at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo from 6-9th September this year.
The conference will run under the theme”The role of youth in sustainable tourism development”.
Speaking during the preparatory meeting for the conference in Harare, patron of the Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism, Hon. Auxilia Mnangagwa said more than 2500 delegates from across Africa are expected to attend the conference.
She said the conference will enable youths who are in tourism business to engage in dialogue and enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
“This conference presents the Youths in Tourism with a platform to engage in dialogue that will enhance their business entrepreneurial skills and to find solutions challenges they are faced with. The conference will also discuss on the environment and climate change especially how the two are key to tourism.
“Youth in Tourism conference will have time to deliberate on input by the young people,” she said.
The conference which aims to facilitate the mainstreaming of tourism into the education system across Africa, will actively involve youths in the development of tourism across Africa and promote continental integration and single destination vision among youths in Africa.
Issues to do with youth empowerment have taken centre stage on African arena as the continent forges ahead with the agenda for socio-economic upliftment of the people of Africa.
The continent has also adopted the theme of how to best to take advantage of the youth dividend where the majority of the population in Africa is under the age of 40 for economic development.
Tourism contributes to economic development where it constitutes 10 percent of the gross domestic product.
Participants in the Youth in Tourism conference will include diplomatic missions, NGOs, universities, tourism players, children’s organisations, banks and ICT companies.