Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
ZIMBABWE has sent a delegation of more than 130 youths to attend a 15-day World Youth Day event in Panama where they are expected to complement Government’s reengagement agenda and sell the country’s tourism brand.
The 135 youths were identified through the Catholic Church and will be in Panama for 15 days from January 14 to 28.
Speaking at the Mega Pilgrim send-off dinner in Harare on Wednesday evening, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira reminded the youths that they were ambassadors not just for the Catholic Church but for Zimbabwe and Africa.
“Today we send off youths to Panama to represent the Catholic Church, the region, Southern Africa and Africa.
“With these three flags you carry today, we felt it appropriate to see you off as you embark on a mission that will transform both you and our image as a country,” said Minister Mupfumira.
Zimbabwe was ranked third after Sri Lanka and Germany and a spot ahead of Panama in the Top 10 countries to “Visit for 2019” by Lonely Planet.
She said sending youths to Panama was an opportunity for the country to complement Government’s re-engagement efforts with the international community.
“This puts us in proximity with Panama and as such you, as ambassadors must build the brand.
“Carry this message with you as you will interact with youths from various countries. Invite them to see who we are,” said Minister Mupfumira.
“My strongest message to you our beloved youths, is remember you are ambassadors of this country.
“You are travelling to experience Panama and for Panama to feel a touch of Zimbabwe through your presence. So remember to market Zimbabwe and make good the name of our country there.”
She said tourists from all over the world visit Zimbabwe because of its culture and heritage sites, immaculate national parks and wildlife, hospitality and the Mighty Victoria Falls.
The Minister took time to remind youths to abstain from sexual activities.
She said the world will know Zimbabwe through the conduct and behaviour of the youth ambassadors.
In the past few months, the youths were taken through theoretical and practical sessions on tourism and toured some of the country’s resorts.
The theme for the World Youth Day is: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,” derived from (Luke 1:38).
Since coming into power in November 2017, the new political dispensation embarked on a re-engagement programme with the outside world and adopted the brand Zimbabwe campaign meant to market the country as a safe tourist and investment destination.— @ncubeleon.