ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) acting chief executive, Givemore Chidzidzi has said the country remained an attractive tourist destination, which the travel world cannot do without.

Speaking at the recently ended World Travel Market (WTM) in London, Chidzidzi said the interest on Zimbabwe was high across the globe when they package Africa in general and southern Africa in particular.

“At WTM you have got buyers coming from Asia, the Americas, the Pacific, Australia, Europe and the UK has a home ground advantage, thus most of the enquiries will be coming from operators and wholesalers from within the UK. What is evident is that Zimbabwe remains a very much sought-after destination, especially following the awards that we have been receiving in the past year or two, where Zimbabwe has been billed to be a must-visit destination, one of the top 10 must-visit destinations by the likes of Lonely Planet, National Geographic, the Telegraph and so on,” he said.

“We are seeing positive responses towards that. We have been getting enquiries for conferences, group tours or the FITs, what are normally referred to as free independent travellers for those doing inclusive tours.”

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He said prospects for the growth of the tourism sector were looking up.

“We have enquiries coming from all facets of tourism and obviously the interest from people who are doing social media, a lot of bloggers, a lot of photojournalists wanting to come to Zimbabwe and even the big media houses wanting to showcase Zimbabwe is amazing. I can say we seem to have turned around the bend,” Chidzidzi said.

Chidzidzi said Zimbabwe started exhibiting at WTM and ITB just after independence.

“Since 1981, we have been coming to WTM religiously and we have seen the show grow. They are celebrating the 40th anniversary this year and that is a milestone,” he said.

More than 13 institutions from Zimbabwe participated at the WTM, including Environment Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the ZTA with the rest coming from the private sector.