Chasing an ambitious three million visitors by year end, Zimbabwe has agreed on terms with China in a deal that could see at least 10 000 tourists from the East Asian country visiting Zimbabwe in the next five years.
Zimbabwe representatives are currently in the world’s most populous nation, with a population of about one billion, hoping to build on a record tourism year in which it received 2, 5 million visitors.
Speaking from Shanghai on the development, Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Priscah Mupfumira said the China-Zimbabwe tourism engagement was a landmark opportunity for the country to further drive partnerships while marketing Zimbabwe as a destination of choice across multiple channels.
“This initiative comes at an opportune time when Zimbabwe is really looking at intensifying its marketing efforts in major source markets like China which is in line with the Vision 2025: National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy,” she said, adding:
“This tourism project illustrates efforts that will go a long towards doubling tourists to Zimbabwe from China in the near future.”
Destination Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China’s strategic partnership will see a historical group of over 350 Chinese business and leisure tourists taking off here for an African journey that covers Djibouti, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the maiden chartered flight marks the commencement of a five year plan which will see over 10 000 tourists visiting Zimbabwe from China.
“The realisation of this inaugural flight was born out of the MOU signed between the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and Touchroad International Holdings Group in China during His Excellency, Cde ED Mnangagwa’s inaugural state visit in May 2018,”ZTA head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said.
Chinese arrivals to Zimbabwe in 2017 stood at 14 407 arrivals with the number rising to 19 428 in 2018.
ZTA believes the Tour Africa-The New Horizon Tourism Project is a grand opportunity that is meant to open the Chinese market to destination Zimbabwe.
The authority is sure it will also consolidate the country’s visibility in the world’s most populous country as well as maintain its top-of-mind brand status
Tourism has become a central pillar of Zimbabwe’s economic progress, supplementing the local GDP and contribution to the country’s economic diversity. Last year the sector contributed $1, 3 billion to the fiscus and the sector is aiming to attain $1,5 billion.