TOURIST arrivals from India increased by 79% to 12 465 last year, prompting the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) to scale up its destination awareness campaigns and visibility on the Asian market.

In 2017, tourist arrivals from that country stood at 6 960.

As part of its effort to grow this emerging tourism market, ZTA — will for the first time — exhibit at the 27th edition of the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (Satte) in New Delhi, India, starting from tomorrow until Friday.

Satte is one of the leading business to business platforms which bring together global travel and tourism players, focused on tourism business exchange.

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“As a country bestowed with rich cultural heritage, destination Zimbabwe is strengthening its tourism business and entering emerging markets. The potential is huge and our main thrust is to continue intensifying our marketing efforts in this market in particular,” ZTA acting chief executive, Givemore Chidzidzi said in a statement.

Chidzidzi said this year the organisation was focusing on nurturing and growing new and emerging tourism markets.

“There is need for us to mark our presence in the Indian market. We will have to be actively increasing our marketing activities there. To kickstart this process, we will be participating at the Satte 2020,” he said.

“The fair will provide a platform for the country’s tourism industry players to establish new business partners and strengthen relations with key partners and stakeholders from the Indian market and beyond.”

As part of their plan to solidify their presence in the Indian market, Chidzidzi said they will do follow-up roadshows later in the year.

India is part of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) family, hence it has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies and dependable tourism markets globally.

Zimbabwe recently upgraded the Asian nation to category B on its visa regime. This means Indian travellers can apply online and obtain visa at ports of entry.