Plans are already underway to revive tourist locations which have seen a decline in visits over the years, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority
(ZTA) chief operating officer Givemore Chizizi, has said.
“As the country anticipates more tourist arrivals from China, we expect to open up more sites to give the visitors more choice,” he said.
Chizizi said this while showing Zimbabwe’s Great Zimbabwe to a group of 300 visiting Chinese tourists.
The visit by one of the largest tourist delegations in the country was in line with the ZTA Destination Zimbabwe initiative which seeks to bring at least 100 000 tourists from the populous Asian country in the next five years.
The visit was made possible by a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Zimbabwe’s tourism ministry and the Touch Road International Holdings group in China signed in 2018.
Chizizi was ecstatic in hosting the Chinese and said the MOU is a grand opportunity to open the Chinese market to Destination Zimbabwe as part of government’s effort of reviving the country’s ailing economy through tourism.
This first batch which touched down this past week, included business executives, models and leisure tourists.
Officials at the ZTA said since the signing of the agreement, there has been an increase in Chinese arrivals in the country from 14 407 tourist in 2017 to 19 428 last year and the figure is expected to rise courtesy of the MOU.
When they finally descended on the iconic Great Zimbabwe this past week, curio vendors were left a happy lot after receiving payment from their various wares in hard currency.
“I am very grateful to the government for giving us such an opportunity to sell our goods to a large group at once.
“We really made something out of the Chinese visit. We were charging our goods in forex and they were indeed paying without hesitation,” said one curio vendor who did not hide his wishes to have a similar day in the near future.”