Scores of destination marketing experts and operators thronged the Destination Zimbabwe stand as the country is exhibiting at the International Tourism and Trade Fair (FITUR) which kicked off on the 23rd and will run till the 27th of January in Madrid, Spain. The fair has grown by 8.3% and this year’s edition will be its biggest ever with the participation of 886 stand-holder exhibitors and more than 10,487 companies from 165 countries and regions.
The Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Priscah Mupfumira is leading the tourism delegation. She travelled with officials from her Ministry, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Women in Tourism Chapter representatives.
Meetings are in progress with various tourism buyers and investors from African, Spanish and other European countries indicating their interest in Zimbabwe while some have lingering nostalgia of their previous unforgettable experiences. It certainly leaves a remarkable impression of the eagerness that many have in doing business with Zimbabwe once again.
During FITUR, Zimbabwe will create awareness for destination Zimbabwe, identify and attract new partners and distributors from the Spanish speaking market. Resuscitation and forging new partnerships with Tour Operators whilst nurturing the current business relationships with the view of intensifying the promotion and packaging of the destination is also on the cards.
“We would like to participate like other countries showcasing that Zimbabwe remains a safe must visit tourism Destination as already certified by various global surveys,” Hon. Mupfumira said. The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Acting Chief Executive Mr Chidzidzi echoed the importance of Zimbabwe’s Participation at FITUR as part of the reengagement exercise and how Zimbabwe is open for Tourism Business.
“The Spanish market is on an upward growth trend with 2017 having recorded 12 583 tourist arrivals 41% increase from 8 950 arrivals in 2016. Meanwhile the first 9 months of 2017 saw the country welcoming 8 303 arrivals from there while 10 478 arrivals were recorded in 2018 during the same period under review. We are certain that 2019 will yield much more not only in the Spanish market but globally, given the various recent endorsements by media powerhouses such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Telegraph and Frommers,” Chidzidzi remarked.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe and Zambia have joined hands in pushing for the visibility of the two destinations in line with the two countries’ vision of ease of access between the two countries. A tagline #ZAMZIMFITUR2019 has been coined for this campaign. They both intend to take this opportunity to promote this integration and thereby increasing travel between them.