HARARE, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The Harare International Carnival, which was shelved last year due to funding challenges, will be held this year, Zimbabwean Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said on Monday.
He told a press conference that the carnival will be part of a series of events that are lined up to celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Zimbabwe will launch the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IYSTD) on June 2 after the United Nations General Assembly declared 2017 as the year for sustainable tourism.
"I can confirm that the Harare International Carnival will take place on September 9, preceded by other events," the minister said.
The Harare International Carnival, in its fourth year running, is an annual festival that encompasses a series of events and festivities and is aimed at advancing the arts, culture and heritage of Zimbabwe.
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, the carnival is about celebrating diversity, getting communities together, getting to know one another in the love and harmony that builds Zimbabwe into a peaceful and promising place for everyone.
In the past, countries such as Brazil, India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, the United Kingdom and Zambia have participated in the carnival.
Mzembi said in celebrating IYSTD, Zimbabwe seeks to promote the role of tourism in five key areas namely inclusive and sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage and mutual understanding, peace and security.
Several events lined up to celebrate the IYSTD include a clean-up campaign, sustainable tourism symposium and World Tourism Day celebrations.
The minister said the commemorations were expected to foster a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards a more sustainable approach that can contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
"Through the activities that have been put in place across the country, we are hoping to bring awareness and education to all stakeholders and the general public on tourism's contribution to the development agenda, peace, equality, partnerships, prosperity and culture, moving towards a more sustainable and prosperous nation," Mzembi said.
Tourism, considered by government as a low hanging fruit, contributes 10.9 percent to Zimbabwe's Gross Domestic Product, 7.3 percent to total employment, 18.8 percent to export earnings and over a billion U.S. dollars in annual revenue.