|Tourists arrivals continue to rise|
|Saturday, 14 July 2012 18:51|
Business ReporterThe tourism market in Zimbabwe has experienced a significant upsurge in arrivals especially to the resort town of Victoria Falls as the economic situation continues to improve and stabilise, an official said.
Khanondo Safaris general manager Mr Ben Tessa said the South African market was proving to be a 24-hour market as more tourists are coming in from across the border.
“The South African market has always been lucrative although there is a time when preference had become Livingstone in Zambia but Victoria Falls now reigns supreme,” said Mr Tessa.
Shearwater corporate communications manager Mr Clement Mukwasi said the current influx of South African tourists coincides with their holiday months especially as schools are closed.
“We have been receiving quite a number of South Africans who are coming in as groups and families and they are partaking in different activities on offer,” he said.
According to tour operators in the resort town the South African market consists of pensioners who travel in groups, businesspeople who come for corporate events and team building exercises as well as families with their children during school holidays.
South Africa remains Zimbabwe’s major source market in Africa with a market share of 70 percent of arrivals from the African continent.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority spokesperson Mr Sugar Chagonda confirmed that the country has been experiencing a significant recovery in the sector with the number of tourists’ arrivals increasing.
“Although the figures for the first half are not yet out, I can confirm that there is improvement in the sector especially looking at the year to year figures,” said Mr Chagonda.
According to analysts, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has registered phenomenal growth in recent years and has overtaken agriculture to become the second largest contributor to Gross Domestic Product after mining.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said the sector’s contribution to GDP was expected to rise from 9 percent last year to 15 percent and arrivals were set at 5 million by 2015.