The official preliminary statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority recorded a 7 % increase in tourist arrivals from 24 572 to 26 355 have been confirmed by the German Information Centre (GIC). According to their official website www.gicafrica.diplo.de after a research conducted on the first trade business day at ITB 2016. Zimbabwe featured among the top 5 countries any first time holiday maker would like to visit alongside Nepal, Maldives, St Lucia, Rajasthan and The Vatican. This comes as a strong rallying impetus to the strong contingent of the Zimbabwe tourism industry attending ITB, those at home to rally behind what at first appeared to be an achievable objective set by ZTA to have attracted over 100 000 visitors by 2020. The Zimbabwe stand was full of activity on the first day of ITB with a lot of traders managing to fulfill all their pre-arranged appointments with Zimbabwe operators. Some of the Zimbabwe operators were overwhelmed by walk in business traders seeking to extend their product portfolios by including Zimbabwe in their packages.
Meanwhile in the contemporary ecotourism sector, the island nation in the Indian Ocean is now one of the most successful holiday providers in the world with more than a million visitors a year. German visitors contribute a large share to making tourism the most important industry of the country. Around 100,000 German tourists visit Maldives annually and constitute the second-largest total group of visitors. In addition to the opening ceremony, Maldives, which has been an exhibitor at the ITB Berlin since 1984, will give many views of its colorful culture at an expanded fair booth.
Meanwhile Berlin takes third place in Europe as it proved that not only exotic long-distance travel tempts holiday-makers. The biggest growth segment in tourism, according to the ITB World Travel Trends Report 2015/16, is city trips. In 2014 Europeans alone went on holidays abroad in nearly 70 million city vacations and booked around 400 million overnight stays. “In recent years both German and foreign cities have gained immensely in attractiveness”, confirms Martin Buck, the Division Manager of the Berlin fair. “For most of the guests it’s about getting away for a few days from everyday life. The trend for short holidays shows this. For that purpose a city is an optimal destination.” Paris and London are Europeans ‘favorite cities, followed closely by Berlin in third place.