Tumelo Mabanga walked away with US$7500 for winning the 2022 edition of the Tourism Innovation Challenge in a colourful event held at the HICC in Harare.

The final came after six months of scouting for the best Tourism Innovator in Zimbabwe for this year.

Mabanga who hails from Harare also won several prizes including Company Registration & Business Grooming sponsored by Philips Law, a Zim Parks sponsored holiday and 12 months’ free membership with BancABC Ignition Hub which is a co-working space.

Mabanga also won Incubation with Kukura Business Accelerator, incubation with Old Mutual (Eight2Five) and UNTWO Innovation Training.

Mabanga was rewarded for her winning project called Find & Go, a platform that connects customers to service providers in the Hospitality industry.

Mabanga’s innovation platform allows users to get information on any service provider (accurate and updated), be it working hours, prices, menus, pictures, videos, booking and payment options, availability, activities to do, places to go.

First runner up was Simphiwe Vuyelwa Mguni from Matabeleland South. Her project is called ‘A Taste of Zimbabwe’, essentially a Zimbabwean travel cullinary social media campaign on the cuisine, heritage, culture and tourism.

The aim of the campaign is to explore Zimbabwe’s beautiful tourist attractions, all the while discovering Zimbabwe’s tastiest cuisine that has been developed through centuries of Zimbabwean heritage.

Mguni won Cash Price of 2500usd, Company Registration and Business Grooming sponsored by Phillips Law, 12 months’ free membership with BancABC, Ignition Hub which is a co-working space, Incubation with Kukura Business Accelerator, Incubation with Old Mutual (Eight2Five) and UNTWO Innovation Training.

Masvingo’s 28 year old Innocent Makonese came third for his project called Jewelz of Zimbabwe.

The marketing initiative focuses on using mainstream media and cutting edge technologies to promote domestic and in-bound tourism in Zimbabwe.

The idea behind this initiative is to (re)discover Zimbabwe’s hidden “jewels” and share them with the world.

Makonese won Cash Price of US$1250, $500.00 USD Worth of Internet from Utande, Company Registration and Business Grooming sponsored Phillips Law, 12 months’ free membership with BancABC Ignition Hub which is a co-working space, Incubation with Kukura Business Accelerator, Incubation with Old Mutual (Eight2Five) and UNTWO Innovation Training.

The campaign combines travel, food and technology to create the ultimate Tourism adventure that will increase both local and international tourism in Zimbabwe.

Participants were drawn from Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces and finalists got US1000, UNTWO Innovation Training and Incubation with Kukura Business Accelerator.

The challenge attracted 181 entries a 300% increase from 2021.

The increase was not only in the quantity of projects but also in improved quality of ideas to transform our sector.

Honourable Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for all the 10 Provinces were actively involved in the capacitation of the Youths in their respective Provinces.