The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe will further expand its visibility as a tourist destination with its participation at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) which kicks off Friday at the Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Centre in China.
The expo, which runs up to Sunday, presents the perfect platform to market the country’s tourism products to the Asian market.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, said destination Zimbabwe was looking at luring the greater Asian market.
“China is now globally acknowledged as the most lucrative source market having spent US$115 billion globally in outbound tourism expenditure in 2017 and is projected by the UNWTO to double its current outbound trips by 2020,” said Chidzidzi.
“It is in this regard that Zimbabwe’s participation at CITM this year goes a long way towards our continued efforts to increase the Chinese tourist volumes to Zimbabwe.”
In a bid to lure Chinese tourists Zimbabwe has relaxed visa requirements for inbound Chinese nationals with the Asian country being moved from category C to category B of the current visa regulations.
Earlier this year ‘China Ready’ workshops were held in both Harare and Bulawayo in an effort to educate the local industry about key requirements for successfully hosting Chinese visitors.
The 35 percent growth in Chinese tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe from 14 407 in 2017 to 19 428 witnessed in 2018 is a reflection of the market’s potential.
CITM is the largest professional travel show in Asia and it caters for both leisure and business travel. Last year, the fair attracted 1 542 domestic and 707 international exhibitors.
With more 142 million travellers, China is the world’s biggest outbound market and is growing faster than most traditional source markets.
The market is characterised by high spenders and Zimbabwe is pulling all the stops to attract a larger share of this lucrative market.