Michael Tome Business Reporter
QATAR airline’s newly established Harare-Doha route will immensely contribute to the unlocking of new tourism source markets and the growth of tourism receipts in the country, Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu has said.
Qatar Airlines made its inaugural flight to Zimbabwe on Friday registering a colossal movement in the positive direction for the country’s aviation industry.
The award-winning airline will service the Harare – Doha route three times a week while Germany’s Lufthansa Airlines is expected to start flying into Zimbabwe soon.
Minister Ndlovu indicated the coming in of Qatar airlines would prop up tourist arrival numbers, which fell last year on the back of travel restrictions after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Plying of Harare-Doha route by Qatar Airlines is of great significance to us, it is likely to improve the numbers of our visitors from the Middle East, in 2019 we had just under 10 000 people coming from that region while last year we had less than 3000 ,” said Minister Ndlovu.
The Middle East, Qatar in particular, experiences extremely high temperatures during the summer period, which normally starts in March and many of Qatar’s citizens fly out to tourist resorts across the world. As such, Zimbabwe provides one of the best climates for vacationing.
He indicated that his ministry would embark on a marketing offensive throughout the region to capture affluent tourists from that part of the world.
“We are excited mostly because it will increase our link in the Middle East. They are high spenders hence we are going to be stepping up our efforts to reach out to this particular region including United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
“Secondly we offer them one of the best climates especially when they have their hot summer like right now,” he said.