Zimbabwe is one of beautiful tourist attractions in Africa. Its wildlife scenario drives many tourists to visit here and experience the exquisite views of the country. Places like Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park are extremely famous. The culture and the people are very different from the rest of the countries. Although the economy of the country is not much satisfactory but still it attracts a lot of tourists which actually helps in the improvement of the tourism sector in many ways. Here a study is made on the different types of sustainability methods used in Zimbabwe.
Sustainability is basically a method of sustainable development that meets the basic and normal needs of the present time failing to make any sacrifices or compromises in the future time. It actually focuses on how the social, economic and environmental needs can be balanced. In Zimbabwe, tourism is an emerging industry. Various sustainability methods were undertaken to improve the tourism industry. Proper judgmental strategies should also be adopted. The main objectives of Sustainable Development are
Sustainable Development has two types of approaches. One is the outcome approach and the other is the opportunity approach. Outcome approach focuses on the flow variable variables while the opportunity approach focuses on the stock variables. The aim of outcome approach is to maximize social welfare while the aim of opportunity approach is to consider the weak and the strong sustainability (Roosa, 2010).
The sustainability methods also depend on the broad scenario of environment. The certain factors of environments include soil, vegetation, land rights, different strategies of environment, livestock farming, wildlife culture etc.
Soil - In case of the soils, scientists are considering the way the people of Zimbabwe has classified the soil in two types. In the first case the soil type is specified .Scientists consider this very important because this past nature of the soils will help them to determine which kind of soil one should use and help them in yielding crops. Another factor they considered was the study of soil from the point of view of the farmers. Farmers better understand what kind of soil is particularly good for that plant. This will basically help to restrict the depletion of natural resources.
Livestock – Majority of the population is engaged in agricultural activity. So it is important to improve the livestock farming in the agricultural sector. The tourism industry in Zimbabwe plays an important role in the lives of the rural people and thus it helps to improve sustainable development.
Wildlife- Before colonization, wildlife played a significant role as people of the country use wildlife for their food source. At one point of time there was a huge conflict between the rural people and the wildlife authority. The rural people had no option but to hunt the animals and have their food. However this conflict was solved after a lot of disagreements and finally it resulted in the improvement in the diversity of the country.
Environmental Strategies- Strategies like less killing of animals, less wastage of soil, water etc were adopted so that the country can experience rich heritage in terms of sustainable development (Lundsgaarde, 2012).
Sustainable tourism is one kind of tourism which tries not to affect the environment adversely, but it wants to maximize its effects in the factors like employment, income, environmental improvement of the country etc. It should be developed in such a way that the integrity of the country is well balanced. Without affecting the social, cultural and economic aspects how the country can optimize to create more jobs in the tourism sectors. In this scenario different types of tourism are there, like Eco tourism, community based tourism, conservation (Ramaswamy & Sathis Kumar, n.d.).
Eco tourism – Eco tourism is basically a kind of tourism which focuses on the country’s cultural heritage. It also gives the idea of the flora and fauna of the country to the visitor so that he gets educated about the destination. It includes the type of the tourist and activities of the tourist. It also helps in improving the conservation of the economy and unites several cultures together. It gives financial help to the local residents as well as the economy (Baumgartner and Korhonen, 2010).
For example people of the country are involved in CAMPFIRE PROJECTS. This project basically gives the rural people an idea about the strategies to apply in the wildlife conservation, how the environment can be benefited in terms of natural resources, its people and the culture. They can even earn money for their better livelihood. In the north west of Zimbabwe (Binga district) there was shortage of schools. People in this district were below poverty level. But getting engaged in this project helped the local people to improve their livelihood. Previously there were only 13 primary schools but now it has 56 primary schools and several health clinics (Williams, 2010).
Community based tourism -Community based tourism is a kind of tourism in which the economically backward and rural people invite the visitors to stay in their communities so that they can earn income by providing different services to the visitors for that period of stay. It actually focuses on the holistic nature of development and improves the economic welfare but adds to the cost of tourism industry (Pineda & Brebbia, 2010).
For example: This type of tourism started in the year of 1980 in Namibia whose main objective was to remove the act of poaching and also to increase the benefits of the local people.
Conservation- Conservation is basically the act of protecting the environment from the bad affects of the different natural resources. It generates macroeconomic development as well as the improvement of the foreign exchange. It also generates great benefits to the economy. It is famous for its wildlife conservation ('Conservation and Politics', 2010).
In the area of Southern Africa, this idea of conservation is very significant. It helps to sustain resources in an appropriate manner and thereby improves the global environment (Gu & Liu, 2013).
Stakeholder’s strategies are an important factor in the evolution of sustainability. Stakeholders basically make important choice for developing the management strategies. They use their strategies to generate financial improvements. Tourism industry is basically identified as the stakeholder’s capability to understand the development of the country. For this kind of practice a sequence is followed in the way of research, strategic decisions and execution in practical field (Leung, Bingham & Davies, 2010).
It can be stated that, there are many areas where the stakeholder’s execution can be utilized, but, unfortunately, the execution has not been utilized in the field of Zimbabwean tourism industry. However, with these strategic executions there can be huge improvement both in the qualitative and quantitative field. The main thing one needs to understand is that this industry of tourism is highly competitive, unsteady and volatile. So there is a need to make deep study of the importance of stakeholder’s strategies and their executions. If the stakeholders take some time to cooperate then the tourism industry can become a useful tool for the long term economic development and growth in Zimbabwe. This may also help to lessen the conflict that existed between the man and the wildlife.
Principles, Practices And Frameworks Of Sustainable Tourism Development
As we know sustainable tourism is a vital in the lives of the local people of Zimbabwe. Sustainable tourism is one of the biggest industries. It creates employment, helps people to travel from one place to the other, resources are highly consumed and life of the people is highly affected (Gu and Liu, 2013).
Earlier the types of sustainable tourism were discussed. But there can be more types of tourism. Like under eco tourism there can be more sub parts like rural tourism, nature tourism, and cultural tourism. With sustainable tourism there exists unsustainable tourism as well. They are mainly beach tourism. Now discussion will be made on the principles of these types of tourisms. The principles are discussed from the point of view of three aspects: social, economical and ecological (Freeman, 2010).
Different types of policy practices and frameworks were introduced in the case of sustainable development. This policy divides into different areas concerning women, children, business partner, and different types NGO’s etc. These groups are further considered for different types of management resources. In African countries like Zimbabwe, these practices and frameworks needed reviews because many socio-economic, environmental issues are cropping up, for example, in the Brut land Report, Agenda 21, there were presence of many legal and policy changes to the existing framework and strategies, but these changes had been characterized as inefficient to promote economic development (JSD, 2010). For these changes, various policy reviews have begun which actually stated that these framework and policies promotes decentralization of the state control over resources to local communities, cooperation among the private land owners and different local companies. Different stakeholders have different interests. So there exists multiple integrity among the stakeholders. The aim of achieving sustainable tourism is a very difficult objective with multiple interests of the stakeholders. In the promotion of sustainable development these existing policy practices and frameworks should not be underrated. There are different arguments on this, the first one is that the state is the manager and the ultimate controller of resources and the state is the one who should develop ways to ensure that there is sustainable resource management and complete optimization of resources. It also argues that the State should be the one to take responsibility of costs and prices associated with the management of resources. But this kind of responsibilities cannot be fulfilled by states in Africa particularly by Zimbabwe (BBC News, 2015).
Tourism industry in Zimbabwe is one the fastest growing sectors .It is the bread and butter of many people in the country. With many benefits it has many problems as well. In the discussion below, the aim is to focus more on the issues related to politics, environment and economics which are actually hampering the growth of the tourism industry (Gretzel, Law and Fuchs, 2010).
From the pre- colonial period there was a political intolerance to bring peace in the nation. People were threatened to get harmed if they voted against the party ruling at that time in country. The rural people faced more torture and humiliation. For example in the year of 2000, the elections were distinguished by violence, brutal abuse and even killing of the people. These had various negative affects in the country like deterioration of economic growth, economy was unsteady, and infrastructure was hugely destructed. These effects actually affected the common people of the country who had to fight everyday with several challenges and have to overcome them with positive solutions. So these types of political issues are actually hampering the development of tourism industry (Matunhu & Munemo, 2011).
Environment in any country was important in the aspect of economic development. But every country is not perfect. There are some environmental issues with most of the countries in the world. Zimbabwe is not an exceptional as well. Major issues include erosion of soil, deforestation, polluted air and water, poaching of animals and exporting them to other countries. Environmental problems are essentially the global problems. These also hinder the development of sustainable tourism (JSD, 2010).
Majority of the Zimbabwe’s economy is classified by agriculture. High unemployment rate is one of the important economic issues in the country. Though literacy rate of both male and female population is quite high but due to high unemployment rate the economy slows down. The economy also faced huge hyperinflation in the period of 2008-2009. However, in the recent times many local people are engaged in the tourism industry and its contribution to GDP has increased, thereby creating jobs to thousands of unemployed people. This has helped to improve the economic growth in the country (Baumgartner & Korhonen, 2010).
Like other African countries Zimbabwe’s culture is not that diverse. The society is patriarchal. Women are tortured and are not independent. Two types of caste existed here i.e. Shone and Ndebele. The degradation of the country also results in the cultural differences among the various categories of people. Racial discrimination can be identified as a major issue in the country and thus it degrades development in the country (Singh, 2010).
It can be predicted that if the hyperinflation continues to exist at this pace then the economy will eventually collapse. Despite a high literacy rate, many people cannot get a job and it results in huge unemployment. Lot of environmental issues can also be solved if some strategies like increasing the living of the people, widening the availability and distribution of subsistence needs to the people, increasing the socio-economic needs are undertaken. Thus it will help in enhancing sustainable tourism. However, if the tourism industry is developed on a large basis in future, it can play an important tool in reducing unemployment and also to achieve a steady economic growth in future (Wang, 2010).
Thus it can be concluded that the sustainable tourism has promoted Zimbabwe beneficially. Its contribution to GDP has increased and livelihood of the people has also improved. Nowadays it has become very popular many people consider it as their occupation. Day by day the economy is improving. So overcoming different socio-economic difficulties, Zimbabwe can become a developed country in the world.
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