The tourism industry is projecting a 10 percent growth in tourist arrivals next year, driven by robust marketing strategies in key source markets as well as enhanced efforts in the Asian market.

Tourist arrivals  in the country improved by 6 percent in the first quarter of this year, buoyed by arrivals from mainland Africa totalling 400,290 visitors and representing 84 percent of the total figure for the quarter, according  to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) 2017 first quarter report.

Industry leaders are hoping to build on this positive trajectory and are projecting further growth to around 2.3 million arrivals next year, a 10 percent jump from this year’s figure.

Industry leaders also agree that with enhanced marketing, Zimbabwe can benefit from the growing numbers of affluent Chinese nationals taking holidays abroad.

The commitment to ensure that this robust growth in the tourism industry is sustained has already been highlighted at the highest office, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa highlighting in his state of the nation address that the government is putting together an aggressive marketing and brand management strategy hinged on the provision of incentive packages and relaxation of the visa regime.

The country last year relaxed visa requirements for all SADC countries, and expectations are that expanding this relaxation to other source markets will shore up the tourism sector.