South Africa accounts for 70 percent of visitors from African countries that visit tourist resorts in Zimbabwe, an official has said.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of public relations, events and protocol, Mr Sugar Chagonda, recently said South Africa was the largest resource market for visitors in the country.
“South Africa among Zimbabwe’s major source markets remains the major stronghold for tourist arrivals in the country with a market share of 70 percent of arrivals from the African continent.
“An indaba therefore becomes an expedient forum for us to launch our brand,” he said.
Zimbabwe will this year participate again at the Indaba Tourism Expo to be held at Albert Luthuli Convention Centre – Durban, in South Africa.
The indaba, which is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar, will run from 7 to 10 May 2011.
“The tourism expo, which will see a delegation led by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Mr Karikoga Kaseke, will also include local tourism operators.
The tourism expo will create a platform for Zimbabwe to launch its new brand “Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders,” the statement said.
About 30 companies are set to exhibit at the expo and these include Rainbow Tourism Group, Khanondo Safaris, Shearwater Adventures and Chikwenya Safari Lodge.
The travel expo will present Zimbabwe’s tourism sector to lure more tourists from that country.
“Apart from the brand launch, the travel expo allows an opportunity to increase tourist arrivals from South Africa, to identify and recruit media and buyers for Sanganai/Hlanganani 2011 and to establish strategic partnerships with the travel trade and media from different source markets,” reads part of the statement.
The indaba, the annual tourism fair, promotes a wide variety of Southern African tourism products and services. It provides Zimbabwe with a great opportunity to meet key tour operators from South Africa with packages to Victoria Falls and other neighbouring countries promoting Africa from the international source markets.
The major objective for this year’s exhibition is to launch the brand, Zimbabwe: A World of Wonders during Indaba.
“The main aim is to launch our brand following successful brand launches done in the United Kingdom, China and Germany this March respectively.
“Given the negative perception about Zimbabwe by the public and the travel trade, the brand launch serves as a platform in telling a true story and well detailed story of Zimbabwe,” reads the statement in part.
“South Africa is one of Zimbabwe’s target markets, with a population of 50 million according to the national census of year 2001.
“It is a major source market with great potential to grow faster than most source markets given its proximity, historical and trade links.”
In 2010, the country received 1 368 234 visitors from South Africa compared to 912 000 visitors in 2009, a positive growth that needs to be supported by aggressive promotional activities throughout the year.