Not many African tourism authorities were present at the billion dollar Arabian Travel Market this year. Zimbabwe, with its current economic challenges sent a delegation to continue its charge to draw more Middle Eastern and Asian tourists to the country.
“The Fair will provide a platform for the country to increase destination awareness to key tourism stakeholders and invited international buyers and media houses,” said ZTA Head Corporate Affairs Godfrey ‘Chief’ Koti.
“The Arabian Travel Market, is one of the most established and successful outbound and regional travel trade exhibition in the Middle East market.”
“This annual tourism business platform welcomes more than 39,000 travel professionals from the region and the world source markets at large.
“Statistics show that USD$2.5 billion worth of business was generated at last year’s edition of the show,” Koti said.
The country’s main tourism agency said participation in the annual showcase was also inspired by the increase in tourist arrivals from the Arab world after 7 798 visited the country last year, up from 7 537 the previous year.
“It is anticipated that active market presence in the Middle East market will increase destination awareness,” Koti said.
On her part, acting ZTA CEO Rita Likukuma said participation at the ATM goes a long way towards building confidence in Zimbabwe as an alternative destination.
“The Arabian market gives us an opportunity to rebuild the confidence in destination Zimbabwe and establishing strategic partnership with leading tourism operators promoting packages to Southern Africa and the continent at large,” she said.
In 2018, Zimbabwe’s tourism industry contributed up to USD$1.3 billion to the national fiscus. 2019’s target is USD$3 billion.