HARARE – The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry participated at this year’s edition of World Travel Market (WTM) where they continued to reach out to the global village in a bid to boost the country’s tourist inflows.
Held from 5 – 7 November in United Kingdom, World Travel Market is the second largest travel show in the world after Germany’s International Travel Bourse (ITB). The event attracted close to 51 000 global travel trade hotel professionals such as tour operators, airlines, and international media from all over the world.
Zimbabwean delegation comprised of Love for Africa, Mbano Manor Hotel, Rainbow Tourism Group, and Avis Rent-a-car amongst 30 other major local tourism industry players which attended the show.
ZTA CEO Karikoga Kaseke said the participation at the World Travel Market follows a surge in this year’s tourist arrivals which is indicative of Europe’s immense potential to grow the tourism sector. The yearly event saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Al Jazeera with an aim to tap into the television station’s diverse audience across the globe.
“Tourism is a key growth engine in our economy and as such, potential has been identified in Europe which is a traditional and key source market. Europe’s tourist arrivals in the first half of 2018 increased by 29 percent to 101 101 from 78 225 as compared to the same period in 2017. World Travel Market was critical for us as not only Europe, but the global tourism industry will be under one roof.
“Of interest was the signing of the MOU for the promotion of Zimbabwe’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry between Zimbabwe and Aljazeera that took place on Tuesday at the Zimbabwe stand. The MOU will see Zimbabwe’s tourism industry being promoted across Aljazeera’s media platforms in pursuit of repositioning the image of Zimbabwe in major tourist source markets,” said Karikoga Kaseke.
Tourism industry players expect the attendance to be a game changer in hospitality industry matrix and growth in tourist arrivals.
“For close to two decades the global media was very hostile towards Zimbabwe and churned out very negative publicity. This saw the tourism industry witness a tremendous dip in arrivals.
“We therefore anticipate considerable transformation in perception of destination Zimbabwe which will in turn boost our hospitality industry.” said Shelley Cox of Great Plains Conservation.