HomeEditorial CommentNCB spearheads Mice tourism in Zim

NCB spearheads Mice tourism in Zim

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ZIMBABWE is taking advantage of its proven capacity to host major events through a National Conventions Bureau.

This comes after the country successfully co-hosted the United Nations Tourism Organisation Congress with Zambia last year.

The National Conventions Bureau (NCB) coordinates the promotion of meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) tourism in the country.

Tesa Chikaponya is the managing director of the strategic business unit which falls under the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

Mice tourism is organised around a well-planned agenda centred on a theme or topic for a professional trade organisation, a special interest group or educational institution.

This kind of tourism is often organised around a specialised event with its own exhibition and practices.

It attracts participants from around the world to a specific venue. Tourism minister Walter Mzembi says the function of the NCB is to scout for opportunities for the country to host major international gatherings.

He said this at the Sanganayi/Hlanganani Africa Tourism Expo convened a Mice business forum last October.

Touted as one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry, Mice tourism generates millions in revenue for cities and tourist destinations around the world. The global Mice market is in excess of $270 billion accounting for 1% of the world’s gross domestic product.

A conventions bureau does not own a convention centre nor does it organise a convention unlike professional conventions organisers.

So what is it and what does it do exactly? It is a destination marketing organisation whose main purpose is to market any destination to be a viable venue for corporate meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

“The National Conventions Bureau is a crosscutting platform that will go out to advocate, lobby and scout, and secure rights to international conventions, meeting and exhibitions, at the same promoting incentive travel,” Karikoga Kaseke, the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said.

The bureau is an independent, non-profit making organisation run by professionals in the area of marketing and management.

Using advertising and public relations activities to a targeted audience and the public in general, its focus is on creating awareness and interest of a Mice destination.

Apart from marketing the destination, it also assists in promoting the meetings industry and to highlight the importance of this business in helping improve the economy.

This is done through planned, targeted, consistent and sustainable marketing activities, networking, education and business exchange.

Where there is a bidding process for meetings organised by associations and organisations, a conventions bureau participates in the process. It endeavours to meet the criteria set down to win the bid.

By assisting local associations or organisations to promote the destination, the numbers of delegates likely to come will be boosted once the event has been confirmed.

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