Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
AT least 26 tourism operators have registered to be in Team Zimbabwe’s delegation to the Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin (ITB Berlin), up from 15 last year, as more private players seek to partner Government in marketing local tourism products.
ITB is the world’s largest tourism trade fair and Zimbabwe is seeking to take advantage of the international fair to position itself and has already secured a 72-square metre stand in hall 20 at the fair that will run from March 6 to 10 this year.
The fair is said to have recorded business engagements worthy over US$7 billion last year alone.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira said Government expected even more players to have registered to be part of Team Zimbabwe on the back of a resurgent tourism sector.
She wished Team Zimbabwe success in bringing more tourist arrivals.
“As we gather today, it is my wish that we have a fruitful and productive participation at the forthcoming fair,” said Minister Mupfumira.
“It is my wish that we take full advantage of and capitalise on the expected business from ITB Berlin.
“As you may be aware, ITB is the world’s largest travel show where the whole tourism world converges,” she said.
Having been named as the 2019 world’s third best travel destinations by travel guide, Lonely Planet, Minister Mupfumira said Team Zimbabwe must leverage on this international endorsement to continue its repositioning drive.
On the delegation’s selling point with which the team expects to win over the market, the minister said the team will push a “bundle of benefits” which makes Zimbabwe a complete tourist destination with almost everything that the market is looking for.
Apart from the famed Victoria Falls, the minister said Zimbabwe has a neck due to the safety that prevails in the country, the peacefulness of its people, good climate which makes it almost a perfect 12-month-a-year tourist destination among other benefits.
“Zimbabwe is a bundle of benefits, it’s not just one thing we are looking at . . . the (tourism) accolades which we have got so far, we have received them because of this bundle of benefits,” said Minister Mupfumira.
Team Zimbabwe’s efforts are aimed at feeding into Government’s grand tourism master plan launched last year and is aimed at steering the tourism sector up to 2035 as well as anchor the sector’s contribution to the economy, which President Mnangagwa said should grow to upper-middle income status by 2030.