The Zimbabwe tourism sector is leveraging on the World Travel Market to grow more business.
In an interview with _zimbabwetourism.net_ Cresta Group Managing Director, Chipo Mandela, who are part of Zimbabwe’s exhibitors at the fair being held at the London ExCeL Exhibition Centre, said they had embarked on a massive refurbishment programme for their hotels in anticipation of a boom in tourism sector.
“We’ve seen the recent decline in the number of arrivals into Harare as well as into Zimbabwe and the region at large and by going to WTM we’re seeking to find new channels of business so that we can augment our occupancies and we can also grow the business especially in Victoria Falls where we experienced a significant wash down for groups coming mainly out of Europe.”
“So our idea is to make sure that we spread that risk by finding more business that is more Free Independent Travelers related. This is so that we’re not badly affected by the wash down as a result of the series groups and we can benefit more from the FIT,” she said.
“In addition we’re proud that we have continuously refurbished our properties in Zimbabwe namely Harare Cresta Lodge, Cresta Oasis and Cresta Jameson. Cresta Churchill was fully refurbished and relaunched early last year while Cresta Spray View in Victoria Falls is earmarked for soft refurb in 2020 in the first quarter. So we are hoping with all those efforts we should be able to welcome guests coming into Zimbabwe with a smile because that is what we thrive on.”
“ At Cresta is where ‘one smile starts another’ that is our pay off line. We strongly believe in it and we (are) doing as much as we can to make sure that we improve our product quality and we’re able to welcome our guests as they arrive in 2020 and beyond,” she added.
Mandela thanked ZTA for it’s leadership role in the marketing of destination Zimbabwe. “We hope through your efforts and through our efforts we can only win as an industry and as a country,” she said.
ZTA Acting Chief Executive, Givemore Chidzidzi, said it was encouraging to note that the tourism sector was speaking in unison.
“As Zimbabwe Tourism Authority we take comfort in that the industry is moving with us in whatever we’re doing and we’re consulting each other for the betterment of the tourism industry in its totality. WTM offers Zimbabwe another opportunity to showcase itself as a safe destination despite what people may be seeing on the international platform.
“We’re a progressive nation, we’re a progressive destination that has seen a lot of growth in the industry. We intend to use this platform to push for an upturn on our arrival numbers which in turn also boost our receipts in the sector,” Chidzidzi said.
Zimbabwe has exhibited at the WTM for a record 39 times out of the 40 times that the fair has been held.
“We would like also to congratulate WTM for turning 40 this year where they say ‘ideas arrive here’ and of course we want to bring our ideas to London as well and showcase what Zimbabwe has to offer,” said Chidzidzi.
“We’re extremely excited and expectant of a good turn out at the WTM and good results for that matter. We would like to assure anyone who is willing to travel to Zimbabwe, that we are indeed a must visit destination,” he said.