ZIMBABWE tourism sector will participate at the China International Travel Mart (CITM)in Kunming, China from 15 to 17 November 2019 at the Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center aiming to tap into a market which spent US$115 billion globally in outbound tourism expenditure in 2017.
The core objective of Zimbabwe’s participation at the expo is to increase destination awareness and visibility of Brand Zimbabwe in China and Asian source markets at large, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive Givemore Chidzidzi said.
“China is now globally acknowledged as the most lucrative source market having spent US$115 billion globally in outbound tourism expenditure in 2017 and is projected by the UNWTO to double its current outbound trips to 200 million by 2020. It is in this regard that Zimbabwe’s participation at CITM this year goes a long way towards our continued efforts to increase the Chinese tourist volumes to Zimbabwe,” Chidzidzi said.
In its endeavour to lure the Chinese market, destination Zimbabwe has relaxed visa requirements for inbound Chinese nationals.
China was last year moved from category C to category B (visa at port of entry) of the current visa regulations. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe held China Ready workshops in both Harare and Bulawayo in an effort to educate the local industry about key requirements for successfully hosting Chinese visitors.
The 35% growth in Chinese tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe from 14 407 in 2017 to 19 428 in witnessed in 2018 is a reflection of the market’s potential.
The CITM is the largest professional travel show in Asia and it caters for both leisure and business travel. In 2018 the fair attracted 1 542 domestic and 707 international exhibitors.
With more 142 million travellers, China is the world’s biggest outbound market.
“The market is characterised by high spenders. It is in this regard, that Zimbabwe is pulling out all the stops to attract a larger share of this market,” ZTA said in a statement.