The visiting 343-member Chinese tourists delegation has toured the UNESCO world heritage site, Victoria Falls with expectations that the visit will set the tone for increased tourists traffic from the Asian economic powerhouse whose outbound tourism is on a upward trajectory as evidenced by the Chinese nationals’ 150 million international trips in 2018.

The tourists arrived at the Victoria Falls International Airport which is gateway to the majestic and jaw-dropping Mosi-oa-Tunya this Saturday afternoon.

It was probably the largest Chinese delegation at the airport since the commissioning of the facility, which was upgraded a few years ago thanks to the US$150 million loan facility from China-Exim Bank

The Minister Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Cde Prisca Mupfumira, the Minister of State for Matabeleland North province Cde Richard Moyo and Victoria Falls Mayor Somvelo Dhlamini were at the airport to welcome the visitors.

Cde Mupfumira said China remains a key source market for the country and highlighted that the partnership between Touchroad International Group and the government is part of strategies to unlock the full potential of the tourism sector.

“We are delighted to be hosting such a high profile and large delegation from China. We are certainly getting into a new era in as far as the Chinese market is concerned,” she said.

Touchroad International Group Director, He Liehui was positive about Zimbabwe tourism industry prospects and pledged his organisation’s commitment to offer assistance in unlocking the potential of the destination.

“The tourists are so excited to be here and are really enjoying the hospitality which Zimbabwe is famous for. We are hopeful of increased tourists’ traffic from China into Zimbabwe,” he said.

The tourists yesterday toured the Great Zimbabwe monument in Masvingo.

“The tourists spent money in Harare, they are spending again here in Masvingo and are going to spend in Victoria Falls. More tourists are going to come and the tourism sector will benefit to a lot from the country’s cooperation with Chinam,” said Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, who is the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Operating Officer.

Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Ezra Chadzamira thanked the delegation for visiting the monument and encouraged them to visit other tourist attractions in Zimbabwe.

China’s outbound tourism is not showing any signs of slowing down with Chinese international trips reaching a staggering 150 million in 2018.