Asia dominates Zim tourism sector

Source: Asia dominates Zim tourism sector | The Herald October 19, 2016

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector saw a 48 percent jump in tourist arrivals from Asia in the first half of this year, with Japan dominating the Asia region as its key source market, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) figures show.According to the stats, between January and June this year, the country received a total of 22 195 tourist arrivals from Asia, up from 14 999 in the same period last year.Asia’s performance was buoyed by strong growth in arrivals by South Korea (179 percent), Japan (79 percent) and China (32 percent), the traditionally dominant source markets in that region.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Engineer Walter Mzembi recently said the Government is targeting to take advantage of an expected increase in the number of Chinese outbound tourists which is set to balloon from an initial projection of 240 million by 2020 to 600 million.

“China is revising its authorised outbound travel from 240 million to 600 million by 2020 and we are all grappling with how to get ready for that kind of incursion.“Currently we are down to almost 5 000 Chinese tourists and if we are to take advantage of that situation we must begin to plant assets and ensure that our tourist attractions are Chinese friendly,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ZTA is set to lead delegation to participate at this year’s International Tourism Bourse Asia which is Asia’s biggest travel and tourism fair.

ITB Asia is scheduled to take place at Marina BaySands in Singapore between October 19 and 21.ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said Zimbabwe’s participation at ITB Asia demonstrates the strategic importance attached to the show in destination promotion and access to source markets within the region

This year’s participation at ITB Asia cements Zimbabwe’s serious approach in the Asia and Pacific region which comes after the signing of an MOU with the single largest tourism promotion organisation in the Asia and Pacific region, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

“As Zimbabwe’s tourism sector, exhibiting at prestigious travel shows like ITB Asia is a part of the continued destination promotion efforts and strategies that we are implementing to attract more tourists from Asia and Pacific markets,” he said.“Africa as a whole received under two million visitors from China’s 120 million outbound tourists in 2015 with Zimbabwe at the bottom of the log in the SADC region with about 6 000 arrivals.

“South Africa led the pack with 133 000 tourists recorded last year followed by Zambia with 65 000. Based on these statics there is need for more aggressive destination promotion strategies to increase travel from Asia to Zimbabwe.”The fair sets aside 5 000 minutes of conferences, on-floor seminars and ITB Asia clinics featuring the latest industry trends.

And over 800 key decision-making buyers with power and appetite for travel products connect with 10 300 delegates from over 108 countries and 760 exhibitors. — BH24