ZIMBABWE’s tourism marketing efforts are being felt in the Middle East region where the country has intensified its investment and travel campaign.
Last week the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) led the country on a destination marketing drive in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) where it exhibited at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which ended on Thursday.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UAE, Lovemore Mazemo, who also interacted with the country’s tourism delegation, said Zimbabwe stands a chance to reap more business from the Arab region.
His sentiments come after the country presented a solid investment and trade campaign during the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai, which began last October and ended in March this year and drew participation from 192 states.
“We are registering well in this market and let’s do everything we can to cultivate this market and grow it,” said Amb Mazemo in an interview.
“As I said it is not just the UAE but the whole world is here.
This is a business hub, it’s a market for whatever we are producing from home but it is also a source of investors and we can keep cultivating that relationship.
“The UAE is a market that is going to be there for a long time and is a destination market.
It is also a transit market and you can come and we meet the whole world here,” he added.
“We have very high hopes that a lot is going to come out of our interaction with this country and with the whole world in this hub.”
ZTA executive director responsible for strategic research, Sophie Zirebwa, who was part of the delegation said the country was scaling up its marketing momentum in the UAE with the view of growing tourism traffic to Zimbabwe.
“We have direct flights to Dubai, we now have two air lines linking Zimbabwe with the Middle East Market.
We have Qatar Airways and we have Emirates connecting us directly,” she said.
“So, for us to be able to continue sustaining those airlines we need to increase the volumes.
We need the numbers and with the direct flights it reduces your cost in terms of travel and it also decreases your time of travelling.
“All those things are working to our advantage and its very important for destination Zimbabwe to be out there.
“It’s very important for the Middle East to know about Zimbabwe because I believe we are really not known in this market given the numbers of people that are arriving into Zimbabwe at the moment, which is less than 10 000.”
Zirebwa said the Middle East was a huge market with great opportunity hence the country was focused on tapping into it.
She said several approaches were being explored in this drive including leveraging on digital technologies and roping in key travel agencies.
“We have been meeting a lot of agencies that can assist Zimbabwe in terms of putting us on the map as far as digital is concerned,” she said.
“Other countries are doing it and we have South Africa exhibiting here.
We also have Morocco and Egypt, it’s also very important to learn from them in terms of what they are doing right, which is making them have big numbers in this market.
“South Africa being here means we can actually help propel Southern Africa as a region to this Middle East market.
So, I think this was a very good initiative for us to promote our destination Zimbabwe.”