Zimbabwe has managed to imprint its presence in South Africa at the just ended Tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa. Speaking at the close of the show, the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Mr Karikoga Kaseke said
the Zimbabwe tourism industry is very pleased with the business conducted, an indication that the show has been refocused into a serious business trade show. “We are very happy to have had the fruitful exchanges we had during this edition of Indaba as we managed to have quality buyers and media making commitments to co-operate with Zimbabwe” said Mr Kaseke.
Indaba attracted well over 2000 buyers and 250 local and international media. South Africa Tourism Chief Executive, Mr Thulani Nzima highlighted that the buyers recruited were people that had a genuine interest in selling Africa and were committed in bringing investment into the continent. “The African continent is potentially the biggest travel and tourism opportunity in the world right now and Indaba 2014 has sought to be the paramount gate way to networking, planning and writing business. This year’s Indaba has been a resounding success many thanks to our strategies of refocusing it into a serious business exchange platform. We have also introduced the tech zone seeing that the world is now caught up in a cloud of technology and we want to ensure tourism is not left behind.” he added.
Indaba is held in South Africa and South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest market, apart from that indaba brings in a lot of global players. “This is exactly where the world meets Africa and a real platform for anyone who is serious about tourism. Indaba has not disappointed us as we have managed to interface with global top tour operators from China and Germany who are committed to package Zimbabwe and South Africa.” he said. Zimbabwe also had the privilege to interface with acclaimed journalist and CNN International anchor of Quest Means Business, Mr Richard Quest who showed a keen interest on destination Zimbabwe. “We will continue to engage the international media to complement our marketing efforts by engaging top international media gurus like Mr Richard Quest as these are major influencers of the global audience and therefore major endorsers of Zimbabwe as a safe destination of choice.” said Mr Kaseke
Meanwhile Kaseke bemoaned the issue of underfunding by the government to participate at such shows but guaranteed that with adequate resources Zimbabwe will go full throttle not only in the South African market but all primary markets. Kaseke applauded Zimbabwe and Zambia for pioneering the UNIVISA. Meanwhile Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have recently launched their UNIVISA which is encouraging to Zimbabwe to embark on more visa unifications.
Meikles Commercial Director Mr Thamsanqa Mpofu said that Indaba remains the best tourism expo and will remain the best for some time. “Zimbabwe‘s participation in future editions of Indaba is certain because Indaba has proved to have matured and has attracted quality and productive interactions.” he asserted. Zimbabwe recorded a decline of 1% from 719 637 in 2012 to 715 260 in 2013 of arrivals and to up this figure more marketing efforts have to be invested.