Tourism is one of the sectors expected to contribute significantly to Zimbabwe’s economic turnaround and the country’s detractors are aware of this. It is therefore not surprising that this sector is being subjected to negative publicity especially by the Western media.
The objective is to discourage tourists from visiting the country so that the country does not earn the much needed foreign currency.
Recently the western media went on an overdrive claiming that the Victoria Falls is drying up as a result of effects of climate change when infact the change in water flow is as a result of historic seasonal patterns.
The African Travel and Tourism Association has allayed fears of the Victoria Falls drying up as alleged by the BBC report. ATTA has criticised what it described as sensational media reports for lacking appreciation of historical seasonal patterns and changes in the water flow and its levels.
The BBC report sparked widespread debate as sceptical opinion leaders and some tour operators turned political and sought to manipulate the scenario in a bid to discourage tourists from visiting the country.
The seasonal rise and fall of the Zambezi River changes the look of Victoria Falls on a daily basis, a fact that the Western media deliberately decided to ignore in order to mislead the world regarding Zimbabwe’s tourism. The challenge to the local media is to correct this misinformation and tell the true Zimbabwean story.
It is imperative for the local media to disseminate correct information to assist those intending to visit the country to make informed decisions.
Zimbabwe does not only boast of many tourist attractions but has a lot of game which also attracts thousands of tourists to the country every year. It is unfortunate that its wildlife conservation programmes are under siege from the so called conservationists.
Powerful Western nations have imposed a ban on legal ivory trade disregarding efforts and investments by Zimbabwe and other Southern African countries making up the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).
All these are attempts to destabilise Zimbabwe and its neighbours’ tourism sectors hence the need for Zimbabweans to go all out to defend their natural resources.