THE decline in business experienced in the country’s tourism sector has negatively impacted on the creative industries as consumption patterns of cultural products continue to fall, Amagugu International Heritage Centre technical consultant, Charlton Tsodzo, has said.
Tsodzo told NewsDay on the sidelines of a seminar held at the United States Embassy in Harare on Wednesday that the downturn of the tourism industry had caused unrest in the creative sector, which encompasses sculpture, craft-work, film and literature.
“Tourists have always been the traditional consumers of cultural products in the country, but the numbers in consumption have deteriorated over the years with the general public taking over in terms of intake,” he said.
“In a bid to spur the consumption of cultural products, the government should introduce a standing policy that should make the consumption of cultural products mandatory.”
Tsodzo said although the objects that were being produced are big, tourists now prefer handicrafts which they could fit into their bags and are cheaper to get through the country’s exit points.
He said there was need for greater appreciation of the arts industry and how factors such as funding, market access and pricing models played a pivotal role in the performance of the creative industry.
“Understanding the pricing model is a skill, taking into consideration that the market has changed radically and there has been a downturn in the tourism sector, hence local producers need to understand that their prices should suit what indigenous people can afford,” he said.
Tsodzo emphasised that at the moment, there was little hope that the creative industry could contribute to the country’s gross domestic profit, citing Zimbabwe’s international isolation.