The Chronicle

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Enterprise Reporter
Zimbabwe, regardless of the existence of sanctions, stays an irresistible worldwide vacationer vacation spot whose peaceable setting coupled with distinctive tourism merchandise and aggressive advertising drive, are a significant draw card to travellers.

Newest experiences point out the nation’s tourism sector is on a gradual rebound after the lethal Covid-19 pandemic and satirically, scores of worldwide vacationers visiting the nation are largely drawn from america of America and the UK, who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

For the previous twenty years, the nation has been reeling beneath unlawful sanctions imposed by London and backed by the US and their Western allies, ostensibly in protest in opposition to the fast-track land reform programme that the nation launched into to right the skewed land possession that favoured the minority white farmers.

On October 25, Zimbabwe shall be joined by Sadc and the remainder of the progressive world to push for the elimination of the unlawful sanctions which have additionally affected the complete area.

Sadc Heads of State and Authorities in 2019 proclaimed October 25 as a day of solidarity with the Zimbabwean folks in opposition to sanctions.

Whereas sanctions have crippled different essential sectors of the economic system lately, particular person travellers from antagonistic states have ignored the routine journey warnings in opposition to Zimbabwe with official figures displaying that 1000’s of Western vacationers truly take pleasure in visiting Zimbabwe yearly to pattern its distinctive tourism packages.

As an example, throughout the first quarter of this yr, the tourism sector registered 352 719 arrivals up from 164 064 throughout the identical interval final yr. The surge was a 115 % improve in vacationer arrivals in comparison with the identical interval in 2021.

Tourism receipts have additionally elevated by 121 % up to now this yr to $337,5 million in comparison with final yr’s $152,8 million. The massive spike in vacationer arrivals is seen as a mirrored image of worldwide notion shift in direction of Zimbabwe beneath the Second Republic.

In the identical vein, worldwide tourism journey companies have continued to recognise Zimbabwe as a vacationer vacation spot of alternative.

In 2018, World journey guides — Frommer’s, Nationwide Geographic Traveller and Lonely Planet listed the nation as one of many prime locations for 2019 with the latter inserting it at quantity 9, the best rating for any African nation.
A number of gamers within the sector advised Enterprise Chronicle {that a} mix of distinctive vacation spot, tradition, historical past, expertise, various landscapes and high-quality wildlife guides had been essential in enhancing the resilience of the sector.

Gwayi Valley Conservation Space chairman, Mr Mark Russell mentioned the prevailing peace is a crucial draw card for tourism. “Zimbabweans are extraordinarily pleasant. Vacationers proceed to go to Zimbabwe as a result of it’s peaceable, it has very low crime charges, high quality companies and has aggressive pricing,” he mentioned.

Mr Russel mentioned Zimbabwe provides principally unfenced areas to hunt which was a bonus.
Main Zimbabwean hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief govt, Mr Ross Kennedy additionally counseled the prevailing peace and mentioned locations like Victoria Falls additionally supply distinctive packages that entice vacationers.

He mentioned though journey warnings are issued by totally different nations for various causes, a majority are based mostly on notion. “Lots of it’s notion, a number of it’s from embassies that really feel they’ve an obligation to their residents and passport holders eager to journey,” mentioned Mr Kennedy.

He mentioned Zimbabwe whose residents are identified for his or her hospitality, is extremely peaceable and exquisite therefore guests really feel at dwelling every time they go to the nation. He mentioned this distinctive vacation spot mix of tradition, group, historical past, expertise and various landscapes, has continued to supply guests best expertise protecting prime wildlife guides on the earth, an excellent document in conservation and fabulous experiences within the hospitality business throughout the entire sector.

Zimbabwe beneath the brand new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa is implementing a variety of home enterprise reforms together with worldwide re-engagement, which have enthused a variety of stakeholders throughout the spectrum together with tourism.
Since November 2018 when the Second Republic took over, scores of people, enterprise delegations and massive organisational representatives have been flocking to the nation to discover numerous funding alternatives in addition to leisure.

The nation has been taking part in host to oversubscribed worldwide gatherings at its vacationer locations resembling Victoria Falls.
The Authorities has equally been scaling up efforts to market vacation spot Zimbabwe via numerous campaigns, working intently with particular person and group companies domestically and overseas.

Overally, Zimbabwe is aiming to realize a US$5 billion tourism economic system by 2025 and the rebound within the sector has set the tone.

In 2020, the Authorities launched the Nationwide Tourism Restoration and Development Technique to re-start the sector and to additional market the nation as a main tourism vacation spot.

Commenting, Hospitality Affiliation of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls chapter chairman, Mr Arnold Musonza, mentioned regardless of challenges that the journey and tourism business has endured, the necessity for vacationers to expertise the nation’s distinctive merchandise was central to their continued visits.

“The important thing driving issue for journey into Zimbabwe regardless of journey warnings is the flagship attraction – Victoria Falls, which can all the time stay a should go to all through your life,” he mentioned.

Mr Musonza mentioned intensive advertising via the stakeholders within the non-public sector and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has been key.

“Our position going ahead is to make sure we hold our flagship merchandise, wildlife and the falls protected and sustainable,” mentioned Mr Musonza.

To additional improve merchandise attractiveness, Mr Musonza mentioned sustainability is now one of many key pillars that decide journey internationally as impacts of local weather change have turn into focal. “Gamers within the business have to speculate extra in sustainable merchandise and good enterprise practices,” he mentioned.

Mr Musonza mentioned new merchandise have to indicate variety with new experiences and never be copy and paste of present merchandise if the nation is to take pleasure in repeat visits. – @nqobilebhebhe.

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