Tourism sector latest beneficiary of Zim-India relations

By Tichaona Kurewa

THE government of India has set in motion plans to scale up cooperation between Harare and New Delhi in various sectors including tourism.

Zimbabwe and India have strong ties in areas such as tourism, industry and commerce, with a number of companies from the Asian country operating in Zimbabwe.

Annually, Zimbabwe receives about 3 000 tourists from India with plans afoot to market Destination Zimbabwe to the Asian market through yoga and films.

This Tuesday Victoria Falls hosted belated celebrations for the International Day of Yoga, where Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe His Excellency Vijay Khanduja laid out plans to increase bilateral relations between the two countries.

“We are scaling bilateral cooperation in all areas be it political, economic, commercial and student exchanges. We are organising the International Day of Yoga at the Victoria Falls, a famous tourist destination not only for Zimbabwe but in the whole of Southern Africa. This program has been broadcast live not only on ZBC but also  in India as part of  International Day of Yoga.

“So, people in India would know about Victoria Falls, they would have seen demonstrations from this famous site. There should be more films shot in Zimbabwe, giving more awareness about places of interest in Zimbabwe; this will help in bringing more tourists from India to this part of the world,” he said.

An expert in Yoga, Kerrith O’Fee highlighted the unique experience that comes with the posture-based physical fitness, stress-relief and relaxation technique.

“We are integrating Yoga and safaris to create a unique experience where people can come to visit our beautiful country, our natural heritage and enjoy nature switch of the business of the day come and relax in the bush, learning tools and techniques of how to take care of their health and wellbeing,” said O’Fee.

Yoga is a fun meditative approach to fitness which helps to relax both the mind and the body.

 According to yoga enthusiasts, the activity helps in combating all sorts of mental and emotional challenges.

Yoga’s origins can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago.

Its practice is said to promotes strength, endurance, flexibility and facilitates characteristics of friendliness, compassion and greater self-control.

With arts, culture and sport having great potential to attract tourists into any destination, Yoga is one such activity that can add positive numbers especially those from the Indian source market.