Southern African country, Zimbabwe is leaving no stone unturned with its aggressive marketing to ensure that it gets the needed recognition as a destination for safe tourism investment for international tourists.
According to chronicle.co.zw, the country took its tourism campaign back to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this week where the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is exhibiting at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
ZTA head corporate affairs, Mr Godfrey Koti, said they were using the Arabian exhibition as an opportunity to create more awareness on ‘Destination Zimbabwe’.
“We intend to maximise our visibility efforts in this market for the destination through showcasing the country’s tourism and cultural products as well as promoting it as a safe tourism investment destination,” said Mr Koti.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing a steady increase of tourist arrivals from the Middle East source markets since 2004.
“We are treating this market as a greenfield and hence our efforts will be largely based on creating awareness and visibility,” he said.
“We have in the past recorded relatively steady tourist inflows of 3 988 in 2004 and at peak of 10 077 arrivals in 2009 while the figure dropped significantly due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Mr Koti said the growth in pre-pandemic numbers was attributed to promotional campaigns that had been put into effect mostly through participation at various exhibitions including the ATM as well as hosting of media and tour agencies on familiarisation tours.
He said participation at travel fairs like Arabian Travel Market, market specific road shows and digital marketing were major promotional tools, which ZTA is using to embark on after the Expo Dubai 2020 in order to increase destination visibility in the Middle East source markets.
The ATM is a travel and tourism event aimed at unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
Tourism destinations from the Middle East and around the world showcase a diverse range of accommodation options, breath-taking tourism attractions and new airline routes.
The ATM hosts 150 of the industry’s top buyers through the hosted delegate programme, an effective way for buyers looking to expand their business in the Middle East through increased access to the right exhibitors.
The ATM is one of the most established travel trade exhibitions within the Middle East and Gulf region. International buyers from the rest of Middle East, part of Asia, the Pacific, Europe and Africa attend this annual tourism showcase.
Zimbabwe will get an opportunity to show the region that it is a destination of choice from regional competitors such as South Africa, Nigeria, Seychelles, Mauritius and others who are also regular exhibitors.
Zimbabwe currently enjoys direct flights from the Middle East region from Emirates Airline, Rwandair and Qatar Airways.