Zimbabwe, which recently co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) annual meeting with neighbouring Zambia, recorded a marked increase in tourism in the first half of the year.
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) – a government body – the southern African country, which has also emerged from a highly contested election, received more than 859 000 visitors in the same period, an increase of 12 percent compared to the same time last year.
Zimbabwe recorded a 12% increase in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2013, at 859 995 compared to 767 393 during the same period in 2012. This growth is clearly testimony of the country’s improved destination image, says a ZTA statement.
The ever increasing regional trade and commerce also contributed immensely to this growth in arrivals, through the activities of business tourists, cross border traders and transiting tourists, mostly drawn from DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
The State-run body said the second quarter of 2013 marked the build up to the harmonized elections. Tourist arrivals usually tend to decline towards, during and after an election but surprisingly, the elections had little effect on tourist arrivals with a few exceptions such as Botswana, Argentina, USA, Singapore, Germany, Italy and Israel Preliminary results of tourist arrivals into the world’s regions for the first Half of 2013 show Africa, Europe and Asia recording growth while Oceania, the Americas and the Middle East declined.
|Fast facts about Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals:|
|Number of tourist arrivals in first half of 2013||859 995|
|Percentage increase from same period last year||12%|
|Countries that contributed to growth in arrivals||DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia|
|International tourist arrivals over Jan-April 2013||Increase of 4% to 298 million|
|Africa’s contribution to tourist arrivals from Jan-April 2013||1.8%|
According to the latest figures availed by the UNWTO for the first four months of the year (January to April 2013), international tourist arrivals went up by 4% compared to the same period in 2012. This was an increase from 287 million to 298 million which reflects a generally robust tourism sector, despite the on-going economic challenges in some parts of the world.
The UNWTO reports positive growth in all regions, with the strongest growth in Asia and the Pacific (6.3%), Europe (4.9%) the Middle East (4.7%), and weaker growth in the Americas (0.5%) and Africa (1.8%).
By sub-region, South-East Asia (12%) and Central and Eastern Europe (9%) continued to be the star performers while in Africa, the sub-Sahara region registered a 3% increase against a 0.1% decline for North Africa.
Date: 11 September 2013