Tourism industry seeks Berlin boon

Tourism industry seeks Berlin boon

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THE contribution of foreign tourists to Zimbabwe’s annual export receipts slipped by half to 15 percent, from about 30 percent during the 1990s, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said this week.
ZTA chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke released the figures as the $1 billion industry prepared to participate at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin, next week.
“Zimbabwe used to receive a contribution of more than 30 percent from the overseas market in the 1990s when tourism was at its peak,” Kaseke said in a statement released on Tuesday. “This contribution has since dropped to less than 15 percent of the overseas arrivals into Zimbabwe. This, on its own, gives the impetus to aggressively push for the recovery agenda in related markets particularly Europe, which has always been a key tourism market for Zimbabwe. Arrivals from Germany on its own have since declined dismally from more than 70 000 in 1999 to 37 304 arrivals in 2017, while the United Kingdom dropped from 189 436 to 73 552,” said the ZTA boss.
The slump in arrivals was driven by bad publicity and travel warnings in the major source markets, which affected perception.
There has been renewed hope that foreign tourist arrivals will improve, riding on improved perception on the country under the new marketing drive.
The tourism industry last year rebounded to a record high touched in 1999, with 2,4 million tourists visiting the country during the year, according to ZTA.
Zimbabwe says through participation in international tourism fairs like ITB, it will reposition itself as the “foremost and must visit tourism destination in southern Africa”.
“The sector is poised for growth. Zimbabwe seeks to reclaim its glory of yesteryears. Germany is ranked as the second highest generator of arrivals from Europe into Zimbabwe after the United Kingdom, contributing 37 304 arrivals recorded in year 2017, a 29 percent increase from the 28 929 arrivals attained in 2016. This momentum and trajectory can only be sustained by Zimbabwe’s participation at ITB Berlin and other related international travel fairs as well as investment in other market recovery strategies such as intensified market representation, trade development, media relations, destination campaigns, advertising, events marketing and digital marketing,” said the ZTA statement.
About 185 countries, 900 qualified top buyers, 10 000 exhibitors, 23 000 convention visitors and more than 165 000 private and public visitors will attend ITB Berlin.
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