via Zim seeks to review China tourism agreement | The Source March 13, 2014 By Bernard Mpofu
Zimbabwe will next month renegotiate a tourism agreement with China to increase arrivals and revenue from the Asian country, the tourism minister said on Thursday.
Zimbabwe signed a Preferred Destination Access Agreement with China in 2006 that relaxed visa conditions for its nationals at the height of political violence and economic collapse that reduced visitors to a trickle. Visa conditions for the Chinese visitors were relaxed under the agreement.
But the agreement failed to provide the required fillip and although Zimbabwe considers China a key source market, only 5,000 Chinese tourists visited Zimbabwe in 2012.
“The Preferred Destination Access Agreement that we signed with the Chinese in 2006 has not realized us any income at all because they (Chinese tourists) are spread,” Mzembi told lawmakers at a seminar.
“They go everywhere. We need to find a way of mainstreaming them to our destination. I therefore asked the minister in China that I want a renegotiation of this agreement. It must work for us otherwise the friendship in tourism does not amount to value and I will be there next month to renegotiate.”
In 2012, about 83 million Chinese tourists went abroad, but only one million came to Africa, according to official figures.
The sector generated $851 million revenue from 1,83 million arrivals in 2013 and has set an ambitious target of $5 billion over the next four years.
Mzembi said he expects an additional 1000,000 jobs to be created this year, adding to the 300,000 already employed in the industry.