By Daniel Chigundu
TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira hast promised UAE and India tour operators that she is committed to strengthening tourism business relationships.
Addressing the tour operators and other business people during a cocktail dubbed “cocktails and conversations” held at the rooftop of the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai at the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market, the Minister said she is aware that Zimbabwe has not been active on that market.
“I would like to commit myself and my entire ministry to seriously strengthen our tourism business relationships. Ever since we arrived on Sunday morning we have met quite a number of tour wholesalers, tour operators, travel agents and travel media.
“The universal message emanating from these meetings was that Zimbabwe is unknown in this region from a tourism point of view.
“We understand why the situation is like this and that is basically the reason why we are here. We have not been active in this market, that is the GCC region and our absence has created room for negative perceptions to prevail. However, we are now ready for this market because Zimbabwe is now open for business.
“We have a new dispensation that was ushered in by the humanitarian military intervention which took place in November last year….The government of His Excellence Emmerson Mnangagwa is aggressively re-engaging the world to restore not only the badly damaged economic but the lost confidence and image of a once upon vibrant nation,” she said.
Minister Mupfumira added that government has taken cognisance of the role that tourism should play in the revival of the economy.
“I am therefore fully committed to my new assignment as the Tourism Minister and I stand before you today pleading for your support as our partners in this market,” said the Minister.
“…I have directed the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority which is responsible for our destination marketing to do everything possible in this market so that we increase our arrivals from a low of 7 537 to 30 000 from this Middle East market by 2020.
The Tourism Minister appealed to the delegates and tour operators to also package Zimbabwe when they are packaging Africa adding that they will not be disappointed.–