Zim targets German tourists

HARARE - Zimbabwe says it is targeting to draw at least 100 000 German tourists into the country in the next four years.

Germany contributes 18 percent of European arrivals into Zimbabwe and is ranked third after the United States of America and UK, contributing 26 355 arrivals, a far cry from the 76 000 arrivals attained in 1999 — Zimbabwe’s tourism peak.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said his organisation was seized with a challenge “to surpass the 1999 arrivals by achieving

100 000 arrivals from the German market by 2020 —  in line with the National Tourism Blueprint” which seeks to achieve a $5 billion economy in the next four years.

Germany is the world’s largest outbound travel market with

76 million travellers each year and over half the German population takes at least one holiday abroad each year.

Latest data released by tourism research firm IPK International shows that Germany topped global outbound markets in 2015 ahead of the United States, the United Kingdom and China.

In UNWTO’s 2015 Tourism Highlights, Germany ranks third in tourism expenditure, with a total of $92,2 billion, after China and the United States.

Kaseke, who is currently leading a Zimbabwean tourism delegation at the on-going International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin in Germany, said there was need for continuous investment into travel fairs if the country is to realise tourism growth in arrivals and revenue.

“Travel fairs continue to be a significant and competitive tool for destination marketing and promotion for any serious destination eyeing tourism growth. Our participation at ITB 2016 is a positive move for destination Zimbabwe given our absence at last year’s edition,” he said.

Some of Zimbabwe tourism industry players participating at the event include Africa Albida Tourism, Falcon Safaris, African Sun Limited, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe, Shearwater Adventures, Rainbow Tourism Group, Amalinda Collection, African Bush Camps, Zimbabwe Travel Info, Musangano Lodge, Nyati Travel and Sikiliza.

Falcon Safaris managing director Hamilton Mandizvidza expressed satisfaction for being accorded an opportunity to consolidate efforts invested by all the tourism industry players in signing up new business as well as reassuring both suppliers and clients who have continued to believe in Zimbabwe.

Running under the theme “One World, One Industry, One Trade Show” ITB is a leading global meeting place, which attracts the participation of more than 185 countries, 850 qualified hosted top buyers, 10 000 exhibitors, 23 000 convention visitors and more than 165 000 private and public visitors alike.

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