Mupfumira leads tourism delegation to SA

Mupfumira leads tourism delegation to SA
Published: 07 May 2018
TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, this week leads a delegation of 32 tourism operators to attend the largest continental tourism show, the Africa Travel Indaba, in South Africa.

Participants will utilise the platform to aggressively market destination Zimbabwe as part of measures to boost tourism earnings for the economy, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head corporate affairs and public relations, Mr Godfrey Koti, said last week.

The travel indaba will run from tomorrow until Thursday. This will see the continent showcasing its wide variety of top drawer tourism products, attracting international buyers and media from across the globe. This convergence also provides a business and policy platform forum for African tourism ministers each year.

"Zimbabwe has been a consistent participant at the prestigious indaba since inception 30 years ago. This year the country will participate with a record of 32 tourism operators on its national stand. The Zimbabwe delegation will be led by the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Honourable Prisca Mupfumira," said Mr Koti.

"The exceptional response is a true reflection that Zimbabwe is open and ready for business. Various Zimbabwean tourism operators have expressed optimism that travel into Zimbabwe will increase as the Government re-engages most of the markets who were shunning Zimbabwe for the past decade. A number of Zimbabwe tour operators have also secured their own exhibition stands at the indaba, which will enhance Zimbabwe participation."

ZTA chief executive officer, Mr Karikoga Kaseke, applauded the enthusiasm shown by the local operators. He said over the years the country has lost substantial amounts of business from the South African market and needed to take remedial action without further delay.

"We need to act swiftly. We are going to South Africa to regain the market share we lost. The level of participation of the tourism players from Zimbabwe is very encouraging and I know Zimbabwe is going to make a huge impact," he said.

"I am very happy that the smaller operators are now also seeing that marketing their products at these big travel shows will assist their businesses to grow."

South Africa is the largest tourist source market for Zimbabwe, contributing 30 percent of total arrivals in 2017. The neighbouring country's arrivals reached 1.368 million in 2010 from 912 244 in 2009 but declined to 716 234 tourist arrivals in 2017.

The ZTA said the first "Visit Zimbabwe" roadshow will be held on the sidelines of Africa's Travel Indaba in Durban.

Mr Kaseke highlighted that there was a need to work at increasing arrivals from the neighbouring country.

"The decline of arrivals from South Africa, which is the country's major market, is of great concern calling for urgent attention. This has therefore seen the need for embarking on Visit Zimbabwe campaign in South Africa," he said.

ZTA has said Zimbabwe will continue to participate at such international travel shows in order to create awareness and build confidence about the destination under the new Government.
- chronicle
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