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Zimbabwe Tourism has enormous growth opportunities

Zimbabwe Tourism has enormous growth opportunities

Zimbabwe is famous for Victoria Falls and Safaris in the Southern African continent. 18.2% of foreign arrivals into Zimbabwe were counted to be foreign tourists. This is according to the Zimbabwe Visitor Exit Survey (VES) Report 2015/16 covering the period from July 2015 to June 2016.

Reading in between the lines this report demonstrates the enormous growth potential tourism has for Zimbabwe.

Each visitor was spending an average of $385 per stay. However, those traveling to Zimbabwe on a leisure vacation spent $681.

The highest average expenditure was recorded by visitors from South Africa at $1 081 followed by those from Denmark ($936), the United Kingdom ($857), Australia ($848) and the United States ($800).

The VES Report 2015/16 was a project undertaken by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the African Development Bank and the Tourism ministry to ascertain the level of tourism in the country and identify areas of improvement.

As such, an overall of 42% of visitors did not utilize hotels. It includes visitors that went on day excursionists, visitors who slept in coaches/buses, trucks, cars and churches.

The VES Report 2015/16 found that 83,7% of visitors spent $500 or less, while 41,8% spent $50 or less during their stay.

“The highest expenditure was on food and beverages accounting for 28%, followed by accommodation at 18%. Visitors from Oceania region were the highest spenders at $1 354, followed by those from Europe with an average expenditure of $909. The least spenders were visitors from Africa, with an average expenditure of $310,” the report said.

Visitors from overseas markets were found to utilize commercial accommodation, with the exception of United Kingdom, with 52,1% staying with friends and relatives.

“Although the proportion of visitors from African countries was the highest (80,7%) their average length of stay was the lowest, 7,6 nights. Visitors from Zambia (37,4%), South Africa (16,3%), Malawi (29,3%) and Botswana (3,8%) did not spend any money in Zimbabwe which agrees with findings that majority of visitors merely come to sightsee the country while spending money in neighboring countries,” the report said

Visitors from the same countries spent between $1 and $50, while the United States had more visitors with low expenditure.

Harare, with 29,1% visitors, edged out Victoria Falls (27,9%) and Bulawayo (22,6%), as the most visited destination in Zimbabwe.

The report found that 80,6% of visitors used cash during their stay, while 5,8% used plastic money.

With Hon. Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe has one of the most respectable tourism minister’s showing a fresh approach to opportunities. The minister has a clear understanding of what is and what is not possible in the travel and tourism world.

Zimbabwe is seen as a safe destination away from many global challenges including terrorism. With the Zimbabwe ministers ambition to become the next Secretary General of UNWTO, his experience and approach may very well become a model for global tourism. The skies are the limit for Zimbabwe Tourism.


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