Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
The third edition of the Tourism Innovation Challenge is set to be held under the theme “Harnessing Innovation for Sustainability,” the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has said.
Announcing the competition process, the tourism promotional body said the national winner will pocket US$5 000 while provincial winners take home US$1 000.
Project proposal submissions were opened on 15 March to 15 May 2023 for youth participants aged 30 and below.
The challenge will be held at provincial and national level. Provincial winners will enter into the national challenge.
Last year, Mr Tumelo Mabanga from Harare walked away with US$7 500 for winning the 2022 edition.
Outlining the process, ZTA said after submission of entries at provincial level, a pre-evaluation of project proposals relating to sustainable tourism would be done.
Selected projects in phase 1 will then be adjudicated online or physically by a panel of judges drawn from the province, provincial winners are announced and proceed to the national finals.
The provincial winners will pitch their projects before a panel of national judges and national winners will then be selected.
Winners from the national adjudication process will then be announced and awarded their prizes which include monetary, incubation and mentorship programmes for six months.
Tourism Innovation challenge is a platform aimed at creating opportunities for young innovators to participate in the tourism value chain. Through this initiative ZTA will also partner with other innovation hubs to incubate and mentor selected project winners.
The Tourism Innovation hub is aimed at young innovators aged 30 and below. This is in line with the Government’s thrust of youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in marginalised groups.
Projects submitted by participants should showcase how they can contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, attract sustainable tourists, bring economic benefits to local communities, and effectively manage the destination.
Additionally, projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to reducing the carbon footprint of the tourism industry, supporting local businesses, and promoting responsible and sustainable tourism practices would be highly valued.
Projects should not only be creative, but also feasible, scalable, and impactful in the long-term. The challenge seeks submissions that can transform the tourism sector in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Article Source: The Chronicle