MASVINGO — Great Zimbabwe Monuments, a world heritage site, has recorded a significant increase in the number of both domestic and international tourists last year as well as the first quarter of this year, owing to increased appreciation locally as well as aggressive marketing, the site regional manager, Lovemore Mandima has said.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
According to statistics provided by Mandima, visitorship for the site, located 25km outside Masvingo city, increased from 55 170 in 2013 to 58 180 in 2014.
In the last quarter of last year (December 2014 to January 1 2015), the visitors increased to 5 000 from 4 823 in the same quarter of the year preceding.
This years’ first quarter (January to March) visitorship shot to 8 000 from 6 507 in the same period last year.
“The two previous festive seasons and complete years have seen an upward trend in terms of visitorship, as well as the first quarters of last year and this year.
“For domestic tourists, it is because of an increased appreciation of the National Heritage site, while for international tourists, it is because of the aggressive marketing by the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, the Tourism ministry and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
“We attribute the increased international arrivals probably to the change of perception of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has proved to be a safe destination for tourists, coupled with the successful hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 2013,” Mandima said.
He said tourists from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany, United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Kenya, China and Sweden frequented the place.
Others who visit the monuments, although in small numbers, Mandima added, include Holland, Mozambique, Namibia, Norway and Japan.