By Audience Mutema
ZIMBABWE has set its sights towards tapping into the Chinese tourism market after opening a dedicated office in the Asian economic behemoth.
The office manned by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority was officially opened by Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira during a recent visit.
Aimed at facilitating the growth of the sector, Mupfumira signed a memorandum of understanding with the Touchroad International Holdings Group a Chinese company with interests in tourism.
Mupfumira said Zimbabwe was looking forward to more Chinese nationals visiting the country.
“This initiative comes at an opportune time when Zimbabwe is really looking at intensifying its markets like China which is in line with the vision 2025: National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy.
“This tourism project illustrates efforts that will go a long towards doubling tourists to Zimbabwe from China in the near future,” said Mupfumira.
A joint statement after the agreement revealed that an initial 350 Chinese business people and leisure tourists will embark on an African journey that covers Djibouti, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
“The maiden chartered flight marks the commencement of a five-year plan which will see over 10 000 tourists visiting Zimbabwe from China,” said the statement.
The warm relations between Zimbabwe and China has seen an increase in Chinese arrivals to Zimbabwe with 14 407 arrivals recorded in 2017 with the number rising to 19 428 in 2018.
Added the statement: “The Tour Africa-The New Horizon Tourism Project is a grand opportunity that is meant to open the Chinese market to destination Zimbabwe.
“Great excitement and enthusiasm has been witnessed from the group as they await to behold the wonders of destination Zimbabwe.”