Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has another feather in its cap –the award for 2013 world’s most preferred cultural destination from the European council on tourism and trade.
The award was officially handed over to Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe who underscored the need to develop domestic tourism even when targeting foreign tourists. CCTV’s Farai Mwakutuya has the story.
Zimbabwe tourism won 2013 world\'s most preferred cultural destinationZimbabwe's tourism industry has another feather in its cap --the award for 2013 world's most preferred cultural destination from the European council on tourism and trade. The award was officially handed over to Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe who underscored the need to develop domestic tourism even when targeting foreign tourists. CCTV's Farai Mwakutuya has the story.
Performance by Zimbabwe’s tourism industry has been consistently improving since 2009. The sector is one of the key pillars on which the country is pinning hopes of an economic turnaround.
This year the industry is projected to contribute about 15 percent to GDP. Buoyed by the successful co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization General assembly with Zambia in 2013, Zimbabwe’s tourism is targeting to increase revenue to over 5 billion dollars by 2015 while targeting over 5 million arrivals.
They will mainly come from emerging Far East markets, but renewed interest from Europe and North America could see a sizable number of tourists who had abandoned the country at the height of its political crisis continue to return.
The country also plans to boost domestic tourism and recently government announced plans to push for 100 percent control of all natural resources including tourist attractions.
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, said: “I believe it is equally important for our own people both adults and children to know and visit these sites. Yes we can share them with the world and it can be said that we hold them in trust for humanity but they remain first and foremost our own.”
Bus it’s not just the attractions that have been behind the success of the sector.
Anton Caragea, President of The European Council on Tourism and Trade, said: “In my address, it would be amiss if I failed to refer to the well-known hospitality and peace loving nature of the Zimbabwean people. It is quote appropriate that your people have positioned themselves as one of the 7 wonders that characterize Zimbabwe.”
The European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECCT) is a 27 member body that seeks to promote safe travel and fair trade in the tourism industry.