Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive, Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, says the country remains an attractive destination, which the travel world cannot do without.
Speaking at the recently concluded World Travel Market in London, Chidzidzi said the interest on Zimbabwe was very high from across the globe when they package Africa in general and southern Africa in particular.
“ At WTM you’ve got buyers coming from Asia, coming from the Americas, the Pacific, Australia, Europe and the UK has a home ground advantage thus most of the inquiries will be coming from operators and wholesalers from within the UK. What is evident is that Zimbabwe remains a very much sought after destination especially following the awards that we have been receiving in the past year to two years where Zimbabwe has been billed to be a must visit destination, one of the top 10 must visit destinations by the likes of Lonely planet, National Geographic, the Telegraph and so on. We are seeing positive responses towards that. The inquiries we’ve been having now for conferences, group tours or the FITs what are normally referred to as Free Independent Travellers for some doing inclusive tours,” he said.
He added that since the coming in of the Second Republic the tourism sector has been looking up.
“We have inquiries coming from all facets of tourism and obviously the interest from people who are doing social media a lot of bloggers, a lot of photo journalists wanting now to come to Zimbabwe and even the big media houses wanting to now try showcase Zimbabwe is amazing. I can say we seem to have turned around the band,” he said.
Mr Chidzidzi congratulated the WTM organisers on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of one of the leading travel shows in the world.
“We started exhibiting at WTM and at ITB just after independence as the major travel shows. Since 1981, we have been coming to WTM religiously and we have seen the show grow. They are celebrating 40th
anniversary this year and that is a milestone.”
“We’re very excited to be joining them as they celebrate 40th anniversary and we want to congratulate the organisers for attaining this feat of uninterrupted organisation of the WTM. Our participation this year was been very good. We had a very good turnout of sharing exhibitors from our tourism private sector. We could do with more companies coming on board. This year we had a better turn out than the previous year, we even surpassed the year before,” he said.
There were more than 13 institutions from Zimbabwe participating at the WTM including the Ministry of Environment Tourism and Hospitality Industry, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the ZTA coming from public sector with the rest coming from private sector.
“We had hoteliers, safari operators, tour operators were well represented and we can say we had a full package of the Zimbabwe tourism product being showcased at WTM,” Mr Chidzidzi said.