28 Zim tourism players attend Berlin conference

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ZIMBABWEAN tourism authorities are reviving efforts to strengthen tourism traffic from the German market as the country participates at the 2019 International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin Germany, which officially kicked off yesterday morning and runs until 10 March.

The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Priscah Mupfumira, is leading the Zimbabwean delegation, which comprises a record 28 local tourism industry players.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the country has made a huge statement of intent this year through the massive uptake of exhibition space at the world’s largest travel show after securing 72 square metres, a significant improvement from last year’s figure of 15 local exhibitors.

Destination Zimbabwe goes to Berlin buoyed by the strong sentiment from the international market confirmed through endorsements by renowned international travel guides and media houses, which voted the country among the top three must visit places in 2019.

“Officials are confident of making a strong statement for the Zimbabwean tourism product and its offerings to grow arrival statistics,” said ZTA.

Government has noted that outbound tourism from Europe has generated almost half of the world’s international arrivals. As such, Minister Mupfumira believes the opportunity still remains for Zimbabwe to aggressively profile its tourism potential in this region, particularly in Germany.

Germany remains one of Zimbabwe’s key source markets ranked third in overseas arrivals after the United States of America and the United Kingdom, contributing 37 304 arrivals last year, she said.

“This is a clear indication of the significance of this market to Zimbabwe’s tourism economy hence the need for intensified investment in destination promotion,” said Minister Mupfumira.

The international tourism bourse opens a window for business connections and networking for industry players, which can be translated into tangible business deals within the next two to three years, according to Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe chief executive officer, Mr Paul Matamisa.

“ITB is a must attend show for the tourism industry by virtue of its magnitude, it is by and large the leading travel trade show in the world, so Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely from networking with seasoned travel professionals to give them an appreciation of Zimbabwe’s tourism offering and include it in their packages.”

Among the local exhibitors participating at the world travel show in Berlin are Cresta Hotels (Pvt) Ltd, Amalinda Safari Collection, Wild Horizons and African Sun Hotels.

The ITB remains predominately the leading and a must attend global meeting platform attracting the participation of 187 countries, 1 000 qualified top buyers, 10 000 exhibitors, 120 000 trade visitors, 26 000 convention visitors and more than 160 000 private and public visitors alike.–chronicle.co.zw

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