Zimbabwe is this year expecting 2.5 million foreign tourist arrivals on the back of renewed confidence by strategic source markets on the country’s vast attractive destinations.

There is optimism over the rebound in the tourism sector performance this year, with industry players having registered a 48 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals during the just ended festive season compared to the same period in 2016.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Dr Karikoga Kaseke said there is renewed confidence of the country’s tourist attractions by the strategic external source markets.

“The source markets are playing a critical role and we anticipate for increased activities,” he said.

The anticipated growth trends are also likely to positively impact on the economy, notes Dr Kaseke.

“Indeed this will have positive implications that can accelerate growth in the future,” he added.

The country’s tourism sector is considered critical to economic development as is rakes in millions of dollars annually, creating jobs, facilitating growth of areas and positively contributing to the gross domestic product (gdp).