ZIMBABWE is participating at the China International Travel Mart (CITM), which begins today ending Sunday at the Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center.
The country seeks to utilise the platform to increase destination awareness and visibility of ‘Brand Zimbabwe’ in China and Asian source markets at large. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) acting chief executive Mr Givemore Chidzidzi, said destination Zimbabwe was looking at luring the greater Asian market.
“China is now globally acknowledged as the most lucrative source market having spent US$115 billion globally in outbound tourism expenditure in 2017 and is projected by the UNWTO to double its current outbound trips to 200 million by 2020,” he said.
“It is in this regard that Zimbabwe’s participation at CITM this year goes a long way towards our continued efforts to increase the Chinese tourist volumes to Zimbabwe.”
In its endeavour to lure the Chinese market, the country has relaxed visa requirements for inbound Chinese nationals. China was last year moved from category C to category B (visa at port of entry) of the current visa regulations. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe held ‘China Ready’ workshops in both Harare and Bulawayo in an effort to educate the local industry about key requirements for successfully hosting Chinese visitors.
ZTA has said the 35 percent growth in Chinese tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe from 14 407 in 2017 to 19 428 in witnessed in 2018 is a reflection of the market’s potential.
The CITM is the largest professional travel show in Asia and it caters for both leisure and business travel. In 2018 the fair attracted 1 542 domestic and 707 international exhibitors.
With more 142 million travellers, China is the world’s biggest outbound market and is growing faster than most traditional source markets. The market is characterised by high spenders. It is in this regard that Zimbabwe is pulling out all the stops to attract a larger share of this market.