By Daniel Chigundu
ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira says Zimbabwe will be receiving about 350 Chinese tourists monthly courtesy of the newly launched Tour Africa-New Horizon project.
The project is a brainchild of Mr He Liehui the president and manager of Touch Road International Holdings Group and is a collaboration between Ethiopian Airlines, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Mupfumira said China is working on strengthening hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure and cultural ties in 65 countries and that has necessitated the launch of the project.
“It is in the spirit of this noble initiative that we are launching the grand Tour Africa- New Horizon Project, which will see us receiving 350 Chinese tourists every month as from March 2019.
“This project is a collaboration between Ethiopian Airlines, which is providing the charter flight for 350 tourists to travel through Djibouti, Tanzania and Zimbabwe! The final destination being Zimbabwe, the tourists will enjoy the majestic Victoria Falls and other scenic beauties provided by nature Zimbabwe.
“Part of the large Chinese delegation will include investors who are coming to scout the environment whilst enjoying our unique tourist attractions. The interaction also seeks to establish cultural ties with the East and promote cultural exchange programs between the two countries,” she said.
According to Minister Mupfumira, the thrust is also to raise awareness of the current facilities that already exist for tourists, both domestic and foreign.
She said the coming of Tour Africa-New Horizon to Zimbabwe is a challenge to local players in the tourism industry to spruce up their products so that tourists can have memorable adventures.
“The arrival of the Tour Africa- New Horizon Project, therefore, requires our tourism and hospitality industry players to gear up and enhance their products to accommodate tourists.
“We are therefore calling upon you to dig deeper and research more on how to widen up your horizons too. Our tourists must experience memorable moments that will give them a reason to return to Zimbabwe.
“Just last month, we had an early Christmas treat here again as we witnessed a cultural exchange event hosted by a famous Chinese artist and a couple of Zimbabwean musicians. The Event was a memorable one,” said Minister Mupfumira.
Speaking at the same occasion Touchroad International Holdings Group chairman Mr He Liehui said culture exchange is important for countries to effectively know each other and that once you know each other’s culture you will better understand each other and you will work more closely and your friendship will stay for a long time.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa applauded China for showing confidence in Zimbabwe.