German tourists say that apart from the country being a preferred destination, this year a change was noticeable in the manner in which Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) traffic section behaved on the roads which they believe is encouraging.
The tourists, who pass through Zimbabwe every year, said in the past they were harassed by police officers on roadblocks and were made to pay fines for small offenses such as having their car headlights on during the day and dirty windscreens, but this time around, police officers were friendly and appreciative of their presence in the country.
Leader of the group and tour operator, Mr Jurgen Muess said there are a number of positive changes in the country that makes the destination attractive, including the support by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for their facilitation at the Beitbridge Border Post.
“There is a positive change in the manner in which police is handling things. They used to harass us a lot, but now they are friendly and want to assist us so much. They even ask to take pictures with us, which is a good thing, unlike in the past where we were made to pay for silly things like a headlight that was on, which is not a crime at all. This change is commendable and will encourage more tourists to come to Zimbabwe,” said Mr Muess.
He also commended the border authorities for being firm and consistent on their requirements saying it makes planning easy as the regulations are clear and known.
ZTA area manager, Miss Bertha Mutowembwa said they continue to facilitate tourists at the border as a way of making sure that the country as a destination remains attractive.
“It is our duty to make sure that all tourists have easy access to the country so we come to the border to facilitate their entry and exit and this is appreciated and it makes the destination even more attractive,” she said.
The country is keen to attract huge numbers of tourists as the industry has the capacity to bolster the economy which is the situation with other regions who benefit from the world’s outbound tourists.