Zimbabwean tourism stakeholders exhibiting at Indaba Tourism Fair in South Africa have revealed that they have clinched a number of business deals after just two days of exhibition.
This development has raised optimism that Zimbabweâ€™s tourism sector is on the path to recovery as seen by the interest and bookings by international buyers.
After two days of exhibiting at the Indaba 2011, which officially opened in Durban on Friday, more than 27 Zimbabwean private and public sector tourism stakeholders said this yearâ€™s Indaba marks a change in the countryâ€™s tourism sector as seen by a lot of interest in what Zimbabwe has to offer by international buyers.
Wild Zambezi Operator, Ms Sally Wynn, Cresta Hospitality representative, Rusununguko Tairoodza and Khanondo Safaris and Tours representative, Forward Mutero among other operators, all concurred that the Zimbabwe stand at the Indaba is buzzing with international buyers from America, Europe, China and Russia, who have a keen interestÂ to re-introduce the spectacular diverse tourist attractions inherent in the country to the world as a destination of choice.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive, Mr Karikoga Kaseke said it is clear that Zimbabwe has made a strong come back to the market as the second best tourism destination in the region after South Africa.
He added that Zimbabweâ€™s thrust of exhibiting at Indaba this year is to increase its market share globally, increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals, the number of domestic trips, increase tourismâ€™s contribution to Gross Domestic Product, promoting growth and job creation in the country.
Mr Kaseke went further saying Zimbabwe would like to establish a strong international presence in support of becoming a global tourism player.
The Indaba Tourism Fair is Africaâ€™s biggest travel and tourism show.
This yearâ€™s event, which runs from the 7th to the 11th, was officially opened on Friday by the South African Tourism Minister, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk under the theme â€œPlaying globally, winning locally.”
The theme encapsulates the ideals of shared and inclusive growth, job creation as well as marketing Africaâ€™s tourism products as a region and not as individual countries.