Progress in courting Brazilian national team – Minister

HARARE – The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Engineer Walter Mzembi, says the tourism delegation to Brazil engaged that country’s government as well as the football association to attract the Brazilian national soccer team to camp in the country during the 2010 World cup to be held in South Africa.\r\n

Soon after touching down at the Harare International Airport, Minister Mzembi, who led a tourism delegation to the South American country, said the delegation has made progress in courting the Brazilian national soccer team to camp in the country during the World Cup tournament.

Engineer Mzembi said the delegation is happy with their engagement with various tourism representatives in that country for tourism exchange programs and other areas of co-operation.

The minister said the bid to lure the ‘Samba Boys’ will face competition from other neighbouring countries which have already shown interest in hosting the team.

However, Engineer Mzembi is hopeful Zimbabwe stands a better chance to lure the ‘Samba Boys’ ahead of its regional neighbors.

The country’s tourism delegation comprised the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority officials and the Zimbabwe Football Association.

Meanwhile, Engineer Walter Mzembi says they have included world soccer power houses in their campaign to lure 2010 World Cup participating teams to camp in the country.

The Minister says apart from targeting the Brazilian soccer team to camp in the country, the campaign has been widened to include the continent and European soccer power houses.

Some of the teams being eyed includes England, Italy, Spain, France, Cameroon, Nigeria and Egypt.

In a speech during a press conference held hours after arriving from the summit, Engineer Mzembi said the success of the Brazilian bid is sure to influence the other soccer power houses to camp in Zimbabwe.

The country is facing competition from neighbors Botswana, Angola, Namibia and Mozambique to host the 2010 World Cup participating teams.

Engineer Mzembi said the country is banking on its competitive advantage over its competitors in terms renowned tourists destinations.

The 2010 World Cup set to be hosted by South Africa is set to create a lot of opportunities for the country with the tourism sector expected to benefit from the influx of tourists coming to Southern Africa region for the soccer show case.