The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the players in the sector have embarked on an aggressive campaign to promote local travel and tour packages. The initial stage of roll out, the promotion drive places focus and emphasis on this year’s Valentine’s period.
ZTA Spokesperson, Godfrey ‘Chief’ Koti, said the organisation had successfully forged a partnership with tourism operators to create visibility around the domestic product.
“We know the importance of digital marketing and as the authority responsible for marketing the tourism industry, we have collaborated with various operators to further create visibility around the domestic tourism product. In the short term our target is movement around public holidays and celebratory days of note such as the up coming Valentine’s Day. Response from Industry players has been resounding and they too have confirmed an increase in enquiries on their Valentine’s packages,” said Koti.
“Approximately 83 percent of travellers make their bookings online so you find that digital marketing becomes a priority fir the entire sector. E-marketing is the way to go and we need to stay competitive with other destinations in terms of promotion domestic tourism and ultimately from all over the world,” he said.
The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe President, Clive Chinwada said there was need for the sector to be aggressive in its domestic marketing approach. He also spoke on the importance of exploiting digital platforms in promoting the destination to both the international and domestic market.
“As HAZ, we are alive to the importance of a solid digital footprint by destination Zimbabwe as well the various tourism regions within the country. We applaud the work being done by ZTA using a variety of platforms and would like to urge the authority to sustain and even become more aggressive. This is critical in ensuring that the zimbabwean story goes out unadulterated” he said.
Part of ZTA’s role is to ensure that there is a product for every segment of the market. There has been a general outcry that the destination is expensive for locals. The domestic tourism promotion drive is to showcase both low and high end products with special emphasis on encouraging the industry to service the middle income market.
Mandla Mataure, an operator and Managing Director of Eastern Highlands’ Chimanimani Hotel expressed gratitude and optimism in the initiative. “I think its a fantastic move. Many people within Zimbabwe know so much more about countries that are within the region and further abroad. But not many of them know how many beautiful places are within our own boarders locally in this country,” he said.
“So the idea will be fantastic in terms of getting more people, more Zimbabweans to travel around the country and explore the various destinations that we have within our boarders,” added Mature.
“It’s a very well received initiative that is being initiated by the ZTA and we are looking forward to being able to host a lot more locals at our place of business,” he said.