Bulawayo, January 4, 2012- Zimbabwe’s major tourist destination, Victoria Falls registered a near 10% increase in tourist arrivals during the festive season compared to 2010, according to the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority (ZNPWA).
Caroline Washaya-Moyo, the ZNPWA public relations officer stated in a statement that a total of 7950 visitors during the peak period of the festive season between 21 and 27 December were registered in the resort town compared to 7069 visitors in 2010. The figure represented an 8.8% increase.
“During the same period in 2010, locals constituted 57%, international visitors 17% and regional 17%.
“Of the 2011 entries, 64% percent were locals while international visitors constituted 19% and regional visitors 26%,” Caroline Washaya-Moyo, the ZNPWA public relations officer said in a statement.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) recently said the increase in tourist arrivals is a clear sign of the recovery of the country’s tourism sector which had been hard hit by the political instability in the country over the last ten years and the deterioration of relations with western countries – the sector’s traditional source markets.
The ZTA has said the continued growth in arrivals can be attributed to the increased confidence in Zimbabwe as a tourist destination and the political stability.
Following the establishment of a coalition government, many governments lifted travel bans to Zimbabwe, which had been imposed for security reasons, for their citizens.
As a result, ZTA said, tourists began coming to Zimbabwe again, including from the most skeptic European markets.
”The effects of the all-inclusive government which was formed in February 2009 and the lifting of travel warnings against Zimbabwe by some of the country’s major source markets such as Japan, USA and Germany contributed to the increase in tourist arrivals,” the agency noted in a statement.