Zimbabwe a safe destination


ZIMBABWE is a safe tourist destination, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has said.
In a communiqué, the ZTA said safety was guaranteed for all local and international tourists:
“We would like to inform all valued tourists from both the domestic and international markets that, notwithstanding the post-election violence witnessed on August 1 2018 in the capital city, Harare, Zimbabwe remains a safe destination for any travel.
The incidents of protests that occurred in parts of the Central Business District (CBD) and the south eastern areas of the capital city were quickly brought under control through the timely intervention of the police with the assistance of the army.
The Authority sincerely regrets the loss of lives during the disturbances and extends its deep condolences to the bereaved families. Tourism thrives in a peaceful environment and as such the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority does not condone any form of violence at all and joins the rest of the nation and international community to condemn the perpetrators of violence in the strongest terms.”
ZTA added that: “The disturbances were restricted to the central business district of Harare and the rest of the country remained peaceful and all our tourist resort sites undisturbed by the state of affairs in the capital city. We would like to urge all travellers to Zimbabwe and those currently in the country to conduct their business deals as the situation is back to normal. Leisure travellers are therefore happily advised to stay calm and enjoy their experience in this, our Zimbabwe – A World of Wonders”.
Acts of violence retard the growth of tourism due to cancellations and shunning of the destination.
Zimbabwe has, in the last decade made significant inroads in rebuilding and rebranding the country’s tourism product which was severely battered by more than a decade of illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its allies.
According to statistics, global tourism receipts for the year 2017 stood at US$1,4 trillion, with seven percent being alluded to Africa and stakeholders have been working round the clock to ensure the country enjoys a significant chunk of the arrivals.
The new dispensation has put Zimbabwe back in the spotlight and the world is eager to re-engage the country.
The number of arrivals since November 2017 has been on the increase as players from various fields are visiting the country exploring various ventures.
However, acts of political violence, anywhere in the world, derail the growth and development of tourism.
Tourism client-countries normally issue travel bans and warnings to their citizens.
After the imposition of sanctions on the country and negative publicity which followed the Land Reform Programme, the nation experienced a major decline of tourist arrivals from many source markets.
And it has taken aggressive marketing as well as rebranding of the country’s tourism industry to ‘Zimbabwe-A World of Wonders’ to change perceptions.
Countries like Sierra Leone have also suffered immensely from bad publicity due to the Ebola virus which ravaged part of its population, while Egypt suffered from effects of the ‘Arab Spring’.
Travel bans to European nationals were given for anyone travelling to these affected countries, resulting in a decline in the tourism arrivals percentage figures that had previously been in double digits.
Katalaina Sapolu, who travelled with the Commonwealth Observer Group during the just ended elections said: “Zimbabwe is a beautiful destination.”
The team, during their mission, got the opportunity to experience some of the country’s best tourism products.
According to Government statistics, in the first quarter of 2018, the country received increased arrivals with, for example, Victoria Falls registering over 17 000 increase from a baseline 8 000 in air traffic arrivals at Victoria Falls International Airport from January to April, representing a 48 percent increase in arrivals, compared to the same period last year.


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