Students from Manicaland State University of Applied Sciences flew the university flag high in an exclusive participation at the Zimbabwe Provincial Tourism Innovation challenge that was held at Enopat Hotel in Mutare on the 4th of November 2023.
Running under the theme “Harnessing Innovation for Sustainability”, the challenge saw four students from the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Sciences taking part in the presentation session and the initiative is a brainchild of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority partnering with other Innovation Hubs to incubate as well as mentoring selected winners of the programme.
The Tourism Innovation Challenge is a platform aimed at young innovators aged 30 years and below and the idea is in line with government’s thrust of youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in marginalized groups.
Projects which were showcased contributes to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, attract sustainable tourists, bring economic benefits to local communities.
Outright champion to the challenge Shingirai Zisengwe who managed to scoop a prize of $1000 and a certificate.
In group presentations, 3 students namely Tawanda Mbiriri, Blessing Mukazika and Tadiwanashe Mbiriri also walked away with $500 and a certificate.
Hence, the winner from Manicaland Province will participate in the national competition to be hosted in Harare.
Commenting about the participation, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Albert Chawanda said:
“I believe that the Zimbabwe Tourism Innovation Challenge assist higher and tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe to be innovation hubs that produce graduates with inventive resolutions to the socio-economic challenges that we experience as a nation.
“Above all such competitive platforms are an opportunity for students to develop management and leadership skills which will benefit them in their careers as future leaders
“I therefore applaud the government’s commitment in providing essential activities that encourage, stimulate and promote entrepreneurship among the youth.”
Similar sentiments echoed from the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Sciences Lecturer, Mr.Willard Madhombiro who identified the Tourism Innovation Challenge as crucial in the development of Zimbabwe through innovative ideas.
“The competition is one of the crucial platforms in the tourism sector as it provides an opportunity to identify potential leaders in tourism and provide innovative ideas that can sustainably develop the nation.
“For universities it is part of community engagement as students are given the chance to incubate their ideas,” he said.