in Route Planning & Tourism

Zimbabwe is open for business and targeting the Middle East as a key source

Posted 1 May 2018 · Add Comment

Zimbabwe has generated a lot of interest as a tourist destination ever since the inauguration of the New President for the Republic of Zimbabwe, CDE E. D. Mnangagwa in November 24 last year.

 

The President has emphasised that economics and trade cooperation rather than politics would be his priority in order to catch up with the region. He has also stated that "Zimbabwe had lagged behind in many areas as a result of isolation for the past 18 years.” 

One of the very first positive actions that were taken by the new government was to relook at all the legislation that had been constraining investment inflows into Zimbabwe. Now the new administration has put in place supportive measures that seek to rebuild confidence and increase Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in order to revive the national economy. 

The tourism industry in Zimbabwe has taken heed in reengaging the international markets, pushing the Zimbabwe tourism brand and Zimbabwe is open for tourism philosophy. The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Priscah Mupfumira has led delegations to South Africa, UK and Germany, reengaging the travel and tourism industry worldwide with the same message. Following those missions, the Middle East is the next key market firmly targeted by Zimbabwe for engagement.

In an effort to increase arrivals from the Asian and Middle East markets the Minister will be leading a tourism delegation to Dubai to attend the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East’s largest tourism exhibition, set for 22-25 April 2018. During the show the Minister is set to meet with strategic decision makers including leading tour operators, airlines and other government officials.

Whilst the Middle East if full of potential, Zimbabwe has not invested much in destination marketing in this region in a long time and the visit by the Honorable Minister will help open this huge lucrative market for the country.

Tourist arrivals have increased from a mere 657 in 2003 to 3,148 in 2004 and only reached a peak in 2009 when 10,077 tourist arrivals were recorded. In 2017 the country recorded 7,537 arrivals, a 58% increase from 4,783 arrivals recorded in 2016.

Zimbabwe is now ready for the Middle East market, where access from Dubai is through Emirates, Kenya Airways, Rwanda Air, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airways. The destination offers a wide range of luxury accommodation options for the Middle East market ranging from city hotels, lodges and tented camps across the country. The country has a variety of activities that suits different market segments from thoughtful to soft adventure for all ages. Bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip lining, rhino trekking and mountain climbing are some of the adrenaline activities Zimbabwe has to offer, while bird watching, horse riding, sunset cruises and visiting rock art sites are just some of the soft activities to be enjoyed.

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