Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Priscah Mupfumira is leading a delegation comprising Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) officials and players on her second international re-engagement series tour in the country’s three major tourism source markets.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The series kicks off on Tuesday and will see the delegation visiting South Africa, United Kingdom and Germany and runs up to March 11.
Speaking in an interview in Harare, Mupfumira reiterated on the importance of this programme citing the need to re-invigorate presence in these markets and generate immense business from them.
“This is my first international re-engagement tour since my appointment as Tourism minister and I am ready to trumpet the President’s message that “Zimbabwe is open for business”. Various stakeholders such as fellow government officials from these markets, tour operators, the media, the diaspora community and investors are our target for this message as we seek to educate them on policies that have since changed since the new dispensation in order to attract more travel to Zimbabwe and more interest from investors,” she said.
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke hopes the programme marks the beginning of the growth curve in tourist influx.
“We are more than excited to run with this re-engagement initiative, the first of many to come, as there is need to stimulate or re-awaken the lost interest in our source markets. We are happy to trek together with our new minister on this drive and believe that tourism will never be the same again. 2018 is a good year and I say this with much optimism as this initiative coincides with the teething stages of the new dispensation. This initiative on its own is a reflection of our sincerity and readiness when we say we are open for business.” he said.
Tourism players participating in the series include African Sun, Cresta Hospitality Group, Rainbow Tourism Group, Legacy Hotels, Siluwane Tours and Chilo Gorge Lodge among others.
The programme coincides with other major events in these source markets. In South Africa, Meetings Africa, a meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions show will be running and in the United Kingdom, the Zimbabwe International Business Exchange will also be running to engage the market and even educate the diasporans on investment opportunities available.
In Germany, the International Travel Bourse (ITB) will be running during the tour. ITB is the leading travel and tourism fair and runs from March 7 to 11.
“We chose to leverage and ride on major events on the global tourism calendar to herald our presence as a new Zimbabwe. The past 16 or 18 years have seen tourist arrivals slump tremendously due to circumstances of our own making but our fortunes will definitely turn around as we re-engage and stimulate these markets in the new age.” Kaseke said.