As the New York Times Travel Show opens its doors for the 17th time, the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) in New York, His Excellency Dr. Fredrick Shava has re-iterated the need for more tourism representation and presence in the United States of America (USA).
The Ambassador said this in relation to the opening of a tourism promotion office in the USA. “For Zimbabwe to tap in to this lucrative market, Zimbabwe tourism should re-establish a tourism office in the US. In the past this tourism office used to be in Washington DC, it can still be in Washington DC but we should certainly have an active office open,” he said.
Speaking on the sidelines of this ongoing travel fair, Ambassador Shava recognized the significance of the USA market which is currently topping the overseas arrivals into Zimbabwe and citing how this plays a pivotal role in the country’s development.
“Zimbabwe’s participation at the New York Times Travel Show is extremely important. It emphasizes the importance that Zimbabwe is open for business and this is part of the business. Tourism plays a very significant part in the GDP of the country and New York is one of the best destinations for publicizing tourism. Zimbabwe depends on a lot of tourism traffic from the United States of America and particularly from New York,” echoed Ambassador Shava.
Standing at 95 025 arrivals recorded in 2018, The United States of America remains Zimbabwe’s top performing overseas market with an average spend of 888 dollars per traveler according to the Visitor Exit Survey.
With the re-engagement mission that the Government of Zimbabwe has been pursuing, Ambassador Shava emphasized of this drive particularly in furthering tourism promotion and related optimum benefits to the country’s development.
“Commercial tourism is part of the re-engagement that we are in and the diplomacy we do these days is associated with commercial diplomacy. We promote what Zimbabwe can do, what Zimbabwe can offer to the tourism market place, the beauty of Zimbabwe A World of Wonders – this is how they will know Zimbabwe and this is how we want to promote business as well as invite more people to Zimbabwe,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has devised intensive marketing strategies set to recuperate the market share in the USA market, which will entail aggressive digital marketing, roadshows, educational tours, trade trainings and media engagements.
The New York Times is the largest Travel Trade and Consumer Show in North America attracting more than 35,000 attendees with over 700 exhibitors from more than 175 countries. Zimbabwe’s participation comes after a long absence of intensified marketing and promotional programs in North America despite the continuous positive performance this market.