By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke says Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is yet to be certified to receive Chinese business.
For a country’s tourism sector to be deemed China ready, it is supposed to undergo China Readiness training and get certified.
Addressing the media on the success of their trip to China together with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Dr Kaseke said until the country has done that training it will forever continue to admire its neighbours who are already reaping rewards from because of the certification.
“What we need to do is to train the inbound tour operators on China readiness, there is a training program that we undergo, any hotel must also go and pass that training for it to be China ready.
“That is what others who are now boasting of heavy arrivals from China have done for example South Africa, Zambia completed last year but the China Readiness program requires a bit of funding and I don’t want to get into that area because I get emotional.
“So basically what I am saying is that Zimbabwe is not China ready and as long as we remain on the terraces we will continue admiring other countries that are getting rewards from China, there is training program that everybody who is in Zimbabwe who is to deal with tourists from China must undergo and get certified,” he said.
China is currently the world’s largest source market for outbound tourists and most countries are putting various strategies to try and tap into it.
However, Zimbabwe has continued to perform badly when it comes to dealing with the Chinese market as it currently does not have a marketing office and lacks enough funds to adequately market the destinations as compared to other countries in the region and continent.
According to Dr Kaseke when more than 60 percent of your country is certified in terms of ready to receive the Chinese business then the country can be looked at as China ready country, adding that Zimbabwe currently is not yet ready despite enjoying cordial relations with the Asian economic giant.–