Organisers and participants in the change a life cycle have praised Zimbabwe saying it is an irresistible destination and an ornament of regional tourism that offers a unique and fable experience. Tour Director Ursula du Plooy said Zimbabwe has compelling reasons to include it in tours mainly its unique landscape, friendly people and supporting institutions.
“We had key South Africa’s business Executives taking part in this excursion which is essentially a charity initiative. They have been cycling on various roads through Zambia and Zimbabwe. We are getting positive feedback from the participants most of whom were just reading about Zimbabwe. I tell you most of them are promising to come back with their families. Zimbabwe has magnificent scenery, we have been seeing the wildlife and the friendliness of the people is so amazing. Zimbabwe is definitely an irresistible destination for such excursions”, said Ursula du Plooy.
Her sentiments were echoed by most of the participants who were in the country for the first time. The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered in Africa Mr Ferdi Pietterse added that it was a challenging experience cycling for 540 kms. He said, “It was very exciting experiencing the warm and excellent hospitality of the local people and seeing wild animals from my bicycle. It was really but I wouldn’t mind doing it over and over again in support of the charity cause and the unique experience with the wildlife and nurture.”
The 72 cyclists were welcomed at the finishing point in Kariba at Andora Harbour by the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Retired Brigadier General Walter Kanhanga and the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Mr Karikoga Kaseke. Addressing the organisers and participants the Deputy Minister stressed government’s commitment to support such events that project the good image of the country.
“I hope your experience in this tour will motivate you to consider sending your corporate teams to our beautiful destination for incentive travel. As Government we are ready to support such programmes. Our team that worked closely with the local organisers will always be at your disposal should you decide to host your future events,” said the Deputy Minister Kanhanga.
The tour, which took place from the 4th to the 9th of September 2015, attracted 72 South Africa’s top executives that included one Zimbabwean Innocent Dutiro of Bain and company, a strategy Consultancy firm based in Johannesburg. In the 540 kms they cycled, they went through Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Binga, Chirundu and Kariba among other areas.
This event was launched by Computershare in 2007 after the tragic murder of Mike Thomson who was one of its senior managers. Proceeds from the event are channelled towards projects aimed at combating crime as well providing leadership skills for talented youngsters in difficult social and economic circumstances. The coming of this event to Zimbabwe has been celebrated mainly by players in the tourism and hospitality sector as another window to market the country to the South African market.
This article was written by BRUCE GERMAINE