TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister, Dr Walter Mzembi is leading a Zimbabwe delegation to the International Travel Bourse (ITB) to be held in Berlin, Germany this week.
The expo, which has attracted over 185 countries, kicks off tomorrow ending on Sunday.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs Mr Sugar Chagonda confirmed the trip saying Zimbabwe’s participation in the global showcase was crucial.
“We are very much excited to be participating at this year’s edition of ITB Berlin.
“We defied all odds and prevailed over the obtaining challenges to maintain our presence in the European market.
“The Zimbabwe delegation comprising the minister, officials from the ZTA and the private sector is already on the ground in Germany ready for the expo,” said Mr Chagonda.
The ZTA spokesperson said a total of 15 companies from Zimbabwe are exhibiting at the ITB Berlin. These include, the African Bush Camps, African Sun Hotels, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Rainbow Tourism Group, Shearwater Victoria Falls, Sikiliza Adventures, The Amalinda Collection, Wilderness Safaris, Zambezi Cruise Safaris, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zimbabwetravel.info.
ZTA chief executive officer, Mr Karikoga Kaseke applauded Zimbabwe tourism operators participating at the fair and expressed optimism that they will consolidate and grow their market share by securing lucrative business deals.
He said Zimbabwe’s participation at the ITB Berlin and other related International travel fairs was premised on the need for continuous investment in aggressive marketing in order for the tourism sector to achieve the projected growth rate.
Germany contributes 18 percent of Western arrivals into Zimbabwe and ranks 3rd after the United States of America and UK, contributing 26 355 arrivals recorded in year 2015.
The figure dropped from the 76 000 arrivals attained in 1999, which was Zimbabwe’s tourism peak hence the need for aggressive marketing to regain the lost market share.
More than 10 000 exhibitors are attending the global forum, which is also attracting cities, tour operators, Airlines, hotels and various services advancing tourism businesses, making it a significant and must attend show for any destination targeting the European market.