In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said development was expected to result in a further upsurge in arrivals of tourists from the two countries with have the largest populations in the world.
“India and China have the largest populations in the world which makes them the best countries for us to tape tourists from. The fact that they are both expanse geographically gave rise to the need for us to have the E-visa so that where ever they are in their countries, they can just apply for visas on the internet,” he said.
Mr Kaseke said while Zimbabwe had embassies in New Delhi, India and Beijing, China, processing of visas manually, used to take time forcing some tourists to opt for destinations without cumbersome visa-regimes.
“E-visa is very good for us in the sense that they will apply on line and get the response in time since the Department of Immigration is only taking less than four days to response. Some have been asking why citizens from European countries who imposed sanctions were applying for visas at the port of entry and why we would want the people from China and India to apply for visa before they arrive here and I told them that it was not our decision but rather their governments said we should put them there for reasons best known to then,” said Mr Kaseke.
Mr Kaseke said Zimbabwe was one of the 8 countries in Africa which had an Approved Destination Status (ADS) from the Chinese government.
He said other countries with the ADS status include Kenya and South Africa adding that these enjoyed thousands of tourists from China.
“We expect to receive 20 000 Chinese by the end of the year up from 9 000 received last year and by 2015 we expect to hit the 50 000 figure. As for India more efforts need to be channelled towards marketing our destination there because last year, we received about 5 000 but we are optimistic that with the e-visa regime, more tourists will come from that country,” said Mr Kaseke.
He applauded the government for committing resources to the promotion of the destination to the world.
“We need to put more money in making our presence known out there. It is the only way other countries will know about us,” he said.
From : Allafrica.com
By Isdore Guvamombe
15 November 2013