Zim tourist arrivals increase

HARARE - Zimbabwe has registered a 17 percent increase in tourist arrivals to 404 282 in the first quarter of 2013, figures released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) reveal.

“The ever increasing regional trade and commerce also contribute immensely to the growth through indirect transiting tourists and business tourists as shown by the current 40 percent increase in business tourists and 65 percent increase in shopping tourists,” the tourism body said.

The country’s overseas arrivals stood at 14 percent, with Europe contributing 54 percent followed by Asia at 20 percent.

“While all markets registered growth, arrivals from Europe and Asia experienced significant increases which have been to an extent due to the increased outbound trend especially in China and the softening of the Eurozone crisis with UK and France contributing significant increases in arrivals to Zimbabwe,” the ZTA said.

The United States which registered a four percent growth rate and accounts for 93 percent of the regions arrivals with Canada, overtook the United Kingdom (UK) as the country’s biggest overseas market.

“The UK increased its arrivals to Zimbabwe by almost three times. This is a possible return of UK as the largest overseas market for Zimbabwe as was traditionally known until 2005 when the United States took over.

“The prominent increase in arrivals from the UK to a great extent reveals the increase in holidaymakers taking more than one holiday this year as sited by the World Travel Market report. The dominance of this market continues to show strong ties between the British and Zimbabwe,” reads part of the report.

South Africa according to the ZTA figures continued its dominance as Zimbabwe’s key source market in Africa, accounting for 49 percent of arrivals, a six percentage point increase from 43 percent in 2012.

“Although South Africa registered a relative growth of 28 percent, it should be noted that in absolute terms this is 37 294 which can be comparable to total arrivals from Mozambique during the same period,” said ZTA adding that it is however, sad to note that the continued unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen arrivals from the central African state falling by 20 percent shedding over a thousand arrivals in the period under review.

China’s share of local arrivals increased by 165 percent although it was a mere 0,02 percent of its 22,6 million outbound tourists in the quarter.

“It is worth noting that China overtook Japan in terms of market share during the period under review.  This makes China the current largest Asian market for Zimbabwe. The rise of China is especially commendable considering that it is currently the world’s top tourism outbound and spending market.”

Of the tourist arrivals into the country, 73 percent were on holiday, visiting friends and relatives (VFR).

“The market share of the VFR category however, has shrunk giving way to business and shopping tourists whose market share has improved.“

Tourists who visited the country by air rose by eight percent, an increase of 4 016 arrivals to 54 097.

Average hotel room occupancy level remained stagnant at 46 percent during the period under review mainly because increases recorded in some regions were diluted by decreases in other regions.  

“As for lodges, average room occupancy levels experienced growth from 42 percent to 44 percent in 2013 while average bed occupancy levels also rose from 30 percent to 35 percent." - Business Writer

Comments (1)

Harare airport is deserted, you cannot compare it with other busy African airports, e.g Kotoka Ghana,Dakar Senegal,Abidjan,Jomo kenyatta,Addis,Dar es Salaam,King Shaka,Cape Town and OR Tambo.Ndege hadzisi kusvika muZim period!

Mwanawevhu - 27 June 2013

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