by Staff reporter
2011 September 29
Tourist arrivals into Zimbabwe are expected to hit the 2,5 million mark this year due to increased confidence with arrivals peaking to the 1996 levels last year.
Tourist arrivals slumped to record lows due to bad publicity on Zimbabwe by the Western media after Government’s successful land reform programme. However, the arrivals have picked up since the formation of the inclusive Government in 2009.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry secretary Dr Silvester Maunganidze said Zimbabwe received over 2,3 million visitors, equalling the 1996 figures.
The arrivals would increase this year as more countries lifted travel warnings to Zimbabwe. We expected an increase in tourist arrivals because of the various strategies that we have undertaken as a ministry to tell the true Zimbabwean story and also portraying Zimbabwe as a must-go tourist destination,” he said.
He said the Buy Zimbabwe campaign and the stable environment had played a huge part in rebuilding tourists’ confidence in Zimbabwe. Dr Maunganidze said Zimbabwe was now the second biggest tourist destination in the region after South Africa.
“We are now second only to South Africa in tourist arrivals and we believe the sector will continue to grow and contribute to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery,” he said.
He however bemoaned perennial problems at Air Zimbabwe.