Zimbabwe: Tourism revenue up 13 percent

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HARARE, Zimbabwe – Tourism sector revenue increased 13 percent to US$749 million last year, spurred by higher spending by tourists visiting resorts, Zimbabwean news agency New Ziana reported.

“Revenue for the previous year stood at US$664 million. It is interesting to note that tourism receipts defied the negative arrival trend which prevailed during the last half of the year. It is thus important to lure and maintain high spending tourists and reduce on mass tourism,” the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said.

IT would be important for the country to focus on the high-value low-volume markets as even small numbers could generate high revenue for the economy, said ZTA.

During the period under review, the country recorded a 26-percent decline in arrivals from 2,423,280 to 1,794,230.

“However, this decline is contrary to the current global tourist arrival trends which have grown though marginally by 4 percent,” the ZTA said.

ZTA said although there was a general decline in all markets, arrivals were mostly pulled down by Mainland Africa which fell by 479,397 arrivals.

Market share for overseas arrivals stood at 13 percent in the period under review, down from 16 percent in 2011.

Europe contributed the bulk of arrivals from overseas market with 48 percent while the Americas came second at 25 percent of the market share.

The ZTA said lack of direct flights to major source markets and domestic air connectivity remained a challenge to tourism growth in Zimbabwe.

However, the introduction of new airlines such as Emirates Air, Fresh Air and KLM Dutch Airlines is expected to address connectivity problems.

“This will resuscitate some of the markets particularly Asia, United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Middle East,” the ZTA said.