Zimbabwe tourism players optimistic they will get business from Europe


Zimbabwe tourism players are confident of securing deals in the Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) market and increase the southern African country’s presence in the European market at one of Europe’s top travel shows.

Andre Bongers, the managing director of Nyati Travel and Tours – one of the six Zimbabwean participants at the Vakantiebuers show in Netherlands  – which started last week and ends on January 26 – expressed satisfaction after the first week.

“We started on a high note and we are extremely excited about the comeback to this market. So far we have held fruitful meetings with local tour operators and wholesalers and we are looking forward to concluding valuable deals,” he said.

The companies’ participation at the Vakantiebuers show  was sponsored by the government of the Kingdom of Netherlands through its embassy in Harare

Rainbow Tourism Group commercial director Shupai Marware said the renewed interest in Zimbabwe by Benelux-based operators was not only encouraging but showed the potential of the local market.

“The operators we have met so far are eager to revive their tours into Zimbabwe, particularly destinations like the Eastern Highlands, Great Zimbabwe and Kariba. That will generate good business for the country and the situation calls for formidable links with such operators so that we can pursue such plans to fruition,” he said.

Sugar Chagonda, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson said the benevolent gesture by Netherlands comes at a time the country is making frantic efforts to regain its lost market share particularly in the European market.

“Tourist traffic to Zimbabwe from the Benelux market had hit new low figures in the last decade and the absence of destination representation saw prospects of market growth receding into the horizons of impossibility as reflected by decreasing tourist arrivals and receipts,’” he said.

ZTA data shows that at its peak in 1999, about 49 600 tourists from the Benelux market arrivals were recorded.

The number drastically fell in the last decade and in 2013 a paltry 8 538 was recorded although there was a 11 percent increase in 2014 to 9 450 arrivals.

Other tourism players representing Zimbabwe at the biggest travel and tourism show in the Benelux countries include Zimba Safaris, Wilderness Safaris, Native Trails and Aviareps.- The Source


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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