DWP Congress to unlock opportunities for tourism

Global luxury and entertainment enthusiasts are expected to flock to Zimbabwe after Destination Wedding Planners (DWP) hosted its first conference on African soil in Victoria Falls last month.

DWP, globally acclaimed as a “premier B2B platform for wedding professionals”, celebrated its 10th conference in Victoria Falls with a three-day event, which was hosted by RSVP.

RSVP, whose CEO is Tapiwa Mukoti, was granted exclusive rights to the Vic Falls rainforest for three hours on the opening day of the conference.

Mukoti said a fortnight ago that RSVP first courted DWP in 2022, culminating in Zimbabwe’s victory.

“RSVP first approached the DWP to host Zimbabwe in 2022 and went through a bidding process,” he said.

“Zimbabwe was announced as the winning bidder for the 10th anniversary of the event in September 2023. After this, all the planning was put into motion.”

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At least 350 local and foreign delegates participated in the event.

“The event had up to 350 delegates, both local and international. These figures included local and international suppliers and vendors within the industry, as well as the world’s top 100 planners and industry gurus and other luxury wedding planners from over 50 countries.

“The impact of tourism for Zimbabwe is invaluable, with very positive feedback from the global industry’s best and many already discussing possible destination weddings and other events taking place at various venues and hotels within Victoria Falls this year “.

In a statement to Zimbabwe Independent, RSVP indicated that several weddings would be held at Victoria Falls.

This, Mukoti added, underlines the growing interest of tourists in Zimbabwe as a tourist destination.

“Having these big budget luxury weddings in Victoria Falls will be a sure way to see an economic return to the destination. Also worth highlighting is the benefit of tourism for the destination and the country in general,” she said.

“It is one thing to attend exhibitions around the world talking about Zimbabwe, but taking the world to the destination to experience it and getting them to come back and market the destination is another thing.

“This event has broken a barrier for the nation and will open doors to the industry for years to come. The perception of Zimbabwe has changed.”

“The organizers highlighted the strategic importance of hosting the DWP conference in Zimbabwe, not only as a tourism opportunity but also as a platform to showcase the country as a leading wedding destination and highlight other picturesque locations such as the Eastern Highlands, Nyanga, Chimanimani , Vumba, Kariba, Chiredzi and Matopos,” said Mukoti.

The event featured a wide range of engagements, including an opening cocktail party in the rainforest.

This was followed by a sunset gathering at the Lookout Café with a 600 drone light show by LumaSky, the largest drone show in Southern Africa and the second largest in Africa.

Wedding Concepts (South Africa) founder Christina Holt said the event showcased the destination as one of the world’s leading tourist attractions.

“Experiencing DWP as the first global wedding conference on African soil, in beautiful Zimbabwe, was not only a memorable three-day learning and networking event, but highlighted the importance of luxury wedding professionals finally exploring the African continent,” Holt said.

“Experiential, authentic and simply stunning to introduce Zimbabwe to the world as a great wedding destination.”

Mukoti highlighted that the Zimbabwe event will leave an indelible mark on the global tourism landscape.

“The legacy of this historic event in Zimbabwe will echo across every continent, heralding the beginning of a new experience for the most discerning luxury bride,” he said.

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