ZIMBABWE has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global airliner Emirates to enhance the country's tourism sector and transform the southern African country into a must-visit tourist destination in Africa.

The partnership between the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Emirates is also driven by a shared commitment to introduce more international tourists to the market.

The MoU was signed at the Arabian Travel Market, reinforcing the airline's commitment to Zimbabwe through attracting tourists from across its global network of more than 130 passenger destinations.

Zimbabwean ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Lovemore Mazemo signed the MoU on behalf of the ZTA while Emirates commercial operations for Africa senior vice-president Badr Abbas signed for the airliner.

Emirates executive vice-president for passenger sales and country management Nabil Sultan, Airports Company of Zimbabwe vice-board chairperson Sinikiwe Gwatidzo and other senior officials witnessed the event.

Abbas said: “Zimbabwe is a key emerging destination in Africa, attracting more international visitors every year who want to experience the country's bountiful nature and embrace the warm culture. With this partnership, we renew our commitment to boosting inbound visitors and to continue flying passengers better with Emirates to and from Zimbabwe.”

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ZTA acting chief executive William Stima hailed the re-signing of the MoU.

“This signifies a significant milestone in strengthening collaboration between the two entities. This initiative is crucial for implementing strategic promotional programs that aim to boost travel to Zimbabwe,” he said.

The airline committed to continue identifying key markets to promote the country as a competitive tourism destination while encouraging travellers to experience the country's diverse natural wonders, wildlife and cultural attractions.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will in turn work with the airline to develop programmes for trade partners and tour operators to market and stimulate the industry.

“Both partners will explore incentives, familiarisation trips and other marketing initiatives to stimulate tourism bookings into the country,” read a statement released after the signing ceremony.