Zimbabwe received a total of 2 422 930 tourist arrivals in the year 2017, a 12% rise from the previous year, largely due to the renewed confidence in the tourism sector by the international community, a cabinet minister has said.
Addressing the press during a welcome reception for Zheing Zhiang Radio and TV Group from China, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industries, Prisca Mupfumira said the tourism sector has benefited from last November’s power transition which ushered in the “New Dispensation”
“The Tourism sector is on a rising trajectory. The peaceful transition to the new dispensation in November 2017 totally changed the image and perception of Zimbabwe from a country perceived to be at war with itself to n exceptionally safe and peaceful country.
“The country received a total of 2 422 930 tourist arrivals in the year 2017, which represents a 12% increase from the 2 167 686 tourists received in 2016,”said Mupfumira.
However, last week’s post election violence will likely slow down tourist arrivals in the meantime despite the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) having reassured the world that the country remains a safe tourism destination.
Mupfumira noted that the ministry has embarked on a recovery plan that will lure more arrivals from traditional source markets.
“In order to boost our tourism arrivals, we have adopted a two fold strategy that of growth and recovery. In terms of recovery we need to recover volumes of arrivals from our traditional source markets wherein we used to have a high market share of foreign versus local visitor ship of as high as 30% of our travelers being foreign which had now fallen to below 20% over the years,” Mupfumira noted.
In order to aggressively market the country, Mupfumira lamented, the country therefore signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the visiting Chinese radio and t.v company worth US$1.2 billion which will see the company shoot a promotional video that will be used in China to marker the country.
“The shooting of the documentary style video will focus on the major tourism products , investment opportunities available in the tourism sector and interviews will be conducted with stakeholders,”she said.