HAZ congress set for Bulawayo

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MORE than 200 members of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) are expected for its annual congress in Bulawayo amid revelations that the country’s tourism industry recorded a marginal increase of 1% during the first half of the year.

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HAZ president Tamuka Macheka told Southern Eye Business in an interview yesterday that the congress which is scheduled for October 29 to 31 will focus on quality service delivery and is expected to draw over 200 local delegates from across the country.

He said the association would be celebrating 70 years of excellence and existence under the theme: “HAZ at 70 building a culture of service excellence.”

“We are encouraging a lot of players to come in and participate so that we could start doing things differently and excellently,” Macheka said.

“In that cause, we have invited a speaker from Singapore to come and address us. This is because Singapore’s tourism sector is contributing more than $13 billion per year in gross domestic product yet we in Zimbabwe we are contributing less than a billion.”

He added his association was looking forward to signing a memorandum of understanding with Catering Association of South Africa to enhance standards and service quality in the local industry.

“We need them to plough back because they were trained in Zimbabwe and that will help us to grow. The congress will also honour those who contributed to the growth of tourism in Zimbabwe dating 70 years back,” he said.

He said the congress will allow stakeholders in the industry to convene and strategise, exchange ideas, communicate, learn and from lasting business synergies.

The congress will be addressed by local speakers including Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi and Macheka.

Macheka lamented that the outbreak of Ebola in Africa would have negative effects on the tourism industry in Zimbabwe.