By Trust Rukwava

The usually sleepy Masvingo town is set to be a hive of activity when two worlds of tourism and arts are blended at an event dubbed Lake October Great Zim Tourism Fest.

Lake October Tourism Fest which runs from October 22 to 23 was last held in 2018 and returns after a three year absence.

The event seeks to reshape Zimbabwe’s tourism in the face of Covid-19 and promote domestic tourism through sports, arts, culture and music festivals.

Organisers of the event are ecstatic about the much-awaited return of the Festival and said preparations are progressing well.

One of the organizers, Rudo ‘Lulu’ Shoko said they have since extended invitations to potential exhibitors.

“We are targeting the whole of Zimbabwe hence our participation at the just ended Harare Agric Show and our attendance at Sanganai/Hlanganani Expo in Bulawayo.

Corporates and Industry stakeholders have been included and an invitation has been extended so that those willing to partner or exhibit can do so during the three days,” said Shoko.

Lake October fest is expected to bring brisk business for Masvingo locals. Revellers and entertainment lovers will be in for a treat with a double bill of shows lined up for the 21st and 22nd October at Caravan Park.

Contemporary musician Jah Prayzah and Zimdancehall star Freeman are set to serenade fans on October 21. HKD fans will also get a feel of the yet to be released David and Goliath album by Freeman which he will be sampling on the day.

On October 22, another sterling line up of artists comprising of Killer T; Takura, Feli Nandi and Voltz JT will wrap up the festival.

Statistics by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that tourism is a great contributor to Zimbabwe’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In 2019 the sector accounted for 6.3% of GDP with a value of US$1.23 billion.

The data also shows that tourism accounted for 1.56% of national employment levels in 2018, with around 100 000 jobs supported and created.