Zim to host inaugural China Africa Tourism Conference

31 Jul, 2016 - 00:07 0 Views

The Sunday News

Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is set to host the first ever China-Africa Tourism Conference scheduled for March next year in Victoria Falls, a move that seeks to position Zimbabwe as one of the preferred Chinese friendly destinations.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the conference will be hosted by Chinese Friendly International, led by Dr Kurt Grotsch in collaboration with ZTA from 22 to 23 March 2017. Dr Grotsch is the Dean of Catedra, a Chinese think-tank comprising over 150 academics, researchers, lawyers and tourism experts in the Chinese market.

ZTA said the conference is expected to attract more than 1 000 tourism players from Africa and the Asian giant nation.

“The two organisations will join hands in organising this conference that will gather over 1 000 tourism players and experts from Africa and China. Participants will engage in knowledge transfer on how African countries can easily penetrate the Chinese market. Among the expected delegates will be African Tourism ministers, heads of national tourism organisations, Chinese Embassies in Africa, UNWTO, PATA, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and various tourism stakeholders from China and Africa,” said ZTA.

It added that the conference will increase co-operation among African destinations in offering seamless multi-destination packages suitable for the Chinese market.

“Zimbabwe is consolidating its tourism promotion efforts in China as it aims to benefit from the multitudes of Chinese long haul travel to Africa,” said ZTA.

The move by ZTA to host the conference also comes after a drop in Chinese arrivals in the country from over 30 000 in 2011 to about 7 000 in 2015.

“This sad development is coming at a time when other African countries like Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania, Angola and Kenya are now reaping the benefits of destination promotion consistency through a visible market presence in China as they continue to record phenomenal increases in their arrivals from this market,” said ZTA.

According to China National Tourism Organisation, by 2020 China will provide over 600 million outbound tourists, reaffirming China’s position as the world’s biggest outbound tourism market since 2012.

According to Tourism Highlights; 2015 Edition of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), China, the world’s biggest source of tourists, continues its supernormal growth thanks to the increase of disposable income, strong exchange rate of Renminbi, improved travel facilities and policy incentives for outbound tourism.

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