President Emmerson Mnangagwa is confident the high level delegation visit of 343 tourists from China will help boost Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals while also expanding and diversifying the country’s tourism source markets.
The tourists from China are the first batch of at least 10 000 tourists from the East Asian country expected to visit Zimbabwe in the next five years.
Speaking during a welcome reception at the State House Thursday evening, President Mnangagwa said the historic visit was yet another welcome endorsement and recognition of Zimbabwe as a safe and must visit destination.
The group of Chinese business and leisure tourists are making their last leg of a whirlwind 10-day African journey that started in Djibouti, continued in Tanzania and is now ending at destination Zimbabwe.
“I recognise that this tour is the first of its kind from the People’s Republic of China, comprising tourists, potential investors, tourism buyers and members of the media fraternity,” Mnangagwa said, adding:“I would like to pay tribute to the President of Touchroad International Holdings Group, Mr He Liehui who is the organiser of the tour, dubbed ‘Tour Africa – the New Horizon’ Tourism Project.
The visit by the Chinese delegation follows an MoU signed between Touchroad International Holdings Group and Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality, during Mnangagwa’s state visit to China in 2018.
It also comes as the tourism sector has received international recognition and endorsement which saw Zimbabwe being nominated as the third Best in Travel in the World.
Zimbabwe is also riding high after being named the sustainable destination of the year during the recent ITB Travel Show.
“This commitment of monthly tourist delegations by Touchroad International Holdings Group, is yet another welcome endorsement and recognition of Zimbabwe, as a safe and must visit destination,” Mnangagwa said.
“My Government has adopted various strategies to ensure sustainable long term growth of the tourism sector. These include increasing tourist arrivals and promoting investment in tourism related infrastructure.”
Mnangagwa continued: “We therefore continue to encourage investment in infrastructure such as hotels and other facilities that will widen our tourism products.
Tourism has become a central pillar of Zimbabwe’s economic progress, supplementing the local GDP and contributing to the country’s economic diversity.
Last year the sector contributed $1, 3 billion to the fiscus and the sector is aiming to attain $1,5 billion.