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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Zim participates at Africa’s Travel Indaba

Story by ZBC News Reporter

Zimbabwe is participating at the Africa’s Travel Indaba from 13-16 May 2024 in Durban, South Africa.

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Barbara Rwodzi, represented by her Deputy, Honorable Tongai Mnangangwa is leading a delegation comprising ministry officials, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and tourism industry players.
Speaking in an interview at her offices in Harare, Minister Rwodzi said she is ecstatic to see so many of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry players subscribe for this travel show under the Zimbabwean banner in pushing the Zimbabwe A World of Wonders brand.

“Indeed, we are excited to have a formidable presence at this global platform supported by buoyant Zimbabwean tourism players who have astoundingly responded to the call to participate under destination Zimbabwe. This is testament to both government and destination managers’ collaborative efforts and yes, together, we shall take on the global market.

“Indaba, being the biggest travel meeting place in Africa and in the top 3 of international events of its kind, gives us a guarantee that we can leverage on the presence of thousands of over 1000 exhibitors, 300 international buyers and a plethora of international media to gain market share.” she remarked.

Zimbabwe’s industry players represent a whole spectrum of tourism value chain with a mix of big to small and upcoming tourism players which is indicative of a bourgeoning tourism industry.

Muyeni representative, Ratidzo Gumbo, expressed their excitement to be part of the show.

“We are thrilled to be part of this delegation in pushing destination Zimbabwe alongside industry giants such as Cresta Hotels and Ilala Lodge and being a new kid on the block, we intend to learn more about the international market and how to extract value from it through this platform,” she said.
Africa’s Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar.

It provides a platform for the travel trade professionals to meet new and existing contacts, gain industry insights and keep up to date with the latest travel trends.

Zimbabwe continues to register growth in tourism arrivals as most key markets registered an increase in 2023 where it received 1 602 781 international tourist arrivals from 1,043,781 in 2022 and US$1,160 billion receipts, a 27% increase from $911 million in 2022.

Arrivals are expected to reach close to 2 million by the close of 2024.

“There is more potential to grow the international market further reinforced by aggressive marketing to keep up the momentum.” highlighted Minister Rwodzi.

“With impeccable resolve, through the pursuance of international practices to win the minds and hearts of travellers across the globe, destination Zimbabwe shall double its efforts to counter the Covid-19 induced slowed growth by increasing its visibility on the global arena,” she added.
Meanwhile, the government of Zimbabwe recently deployed tourism attaches to key source markets including South Africa whose role is to promote the destination and forge new partnerships in the key source markets.

This is in line with the national vision of Zimbabwe of becoming an upper-middle-income society by 2030, as espoused by President Mnangagwa.

Further, this resonates well with targets set in the National Tourism Recovery Growth Strategy where the sector is expected to become a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025 in sync with National Development Strategy One.

Minister Rwodzi highlighted that the tourism cluster approach has since been adopted in Zimbabwe which allows the sector to be more focused on the different facets of tourism thereby developing the sector.

This has attracted a grand opportunity for the destination to host the first-ever UN Tourism Gastronomy forum from 26-28 July 2024 in Victoria Falls.

Another tourism cluster that is beginning to thrive is sports tourism, which has seen the coming in of massive investment where a state-of-the-art cricket stadium is being constructed in Victoria Falls, the venue for the 2026 and 2027 World Cricket Tournament alongside South Africa and Namibia.

On the other hand, Rural Tourism is another area of focus where we anticipate Diaspora Investment into the country through Tourism as well as growing Rural Industrialization.” she added.

Destination Zimbabwe continues to score on the international scene as in 2023, Bloomberg listed Zimbabwe among the top 24 destinations to visit. Such prestigious awards have an endorsement effect on Zimbabwe as a safe destination of choice.

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