Tourism players search for new markets in Middle East

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BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ZIMBABWE tourism sector and its key enablers are set to spread their market search to the Middle East in an event dubbed Visit Zimbabwe Tourism Conference and Exhibition scheduled for March 5 and 6 at Business Connect Centre in Dubai in the United Arab
Emirates.

Local tourism players expect to meet with over 40 delegates drawn from over 25 tourism operators and enablers who have confirmed their participation at the event.

The participants at the event are drawn from the mainstream tourism players and the aviation sector.

In a statement, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) acting chief executive Givemore Chidzidzi said the Middle East remained a lucrative and untapped market for Zimbabwe.

“This event marks the beginning of an exciting journey for the tourism sector as it signals the reopening of re-engagements with our key source markets after the pandemic. The Middle East is a market that has great potential and will bring high value to the different sectors of tourism,” he said.

Chidzidzi said the past few years had seen Zimbabwe gaining access to the Middle East market as witnessed by the introduction of flights by two of the region’s main airlines — Emirates and Qatar.

“Access is key in tourism development and growth, hence the two airlines have changed the aviation landscape in Zimbabwe. As we position Destination Zimbabwe for recovery after the ravaging impact of COVID-19 to our sector, we appreciate the confidence that the two airlines have bestowed on our destination,” he said.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Farai Chimba, who will be part of the Zimbabwean delegation, said: “We appreciate the government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry for affording the sector this great opportunity to engage with the markets.

“The government has facilitated Zimbabwe’s presence at the 2020 Dubai Expo for the past five months and the tourism event comes as one of the highlights to all the efforts being made to re-engage and reconnect with the global community, mainly the Middle East market during the notable global
event.”

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