THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will once again exhibit at the Spanish International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) commencing this week in Madrid, Spain, in a development likely to increase the country’s visibility as a tourist destination.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
FITUR will run from January 22 to 26 with over 10 487 exhibitors from 165 countries in attendance.
This is the 12th time Zimbabwe has exhibited at the event.
ZTA acting chief executive, Givemore Chidzidzi said the fair presented a great opportunity for increasing the destination’s visibility.
“With this networking and intense exposure, Zimbabwe will leverage on this platform to reassure the market and further position Zimbabwe as a destination of choice” said Chidzidzi in a statement.
“Furthermore, with the strategic position of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Madrid, policy-makers within this body will meet to deliberate on global tourism issues under the auspices of FITUR,” he added.
FITUR is the global meeting point for the world’s tourism professionals. It is the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Europe. The showcase also attracts 142 642 trade visitors and last year over 110 848 entries were recorded as interest grows from the general populace.
Zimbabwe’s participation remains critical because it presents an opportunity to contribute as well as tap into the global travel ideas that impact on tourism development. The sessions will cover topics around sustainability, innovation, investment and destination competitiveness, among others.
Chidzidzi said the destination is on a drive to nurture the Spanish market which has shown positive growth patterns in the recent past.
“This is one of Zimbabwe’s emerging markets. In 2018 we recorded 13 528 arrivals from that part of the world. This was a significant 8% increase from the preceding year which recorded 12 583 arrivals,” he said.
“We’re proud to share with the world that destination Zimbabwe made it to Bloomberg’s 24 Best Travel Destinations for 2020. Additionally, Zimbabwe has also been nominated in Harpers Bazaar’s Where to Honeymoon in 2020. The renewed confidence in Zimbabwe is clearly reflected in these nominations and we are hopeful that this will drive traffic into the destination,” said Chidzidzi.
The Zimbabwe delegation comprising staff from ZTA, the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and tourism industry players will be led by Environment ministry permanent secretary Munesu Munodawafa.