ZIMBABWE’S tourism industry is now the fastest growing in the world after China, contributing 8.2 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), cabinet minister has said.
In an interview Tuesday, Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said the latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) show that tourism’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s GDP would average 8.2 percent for the next decade.
"This makes Zimbabwe the second fastest growing tourism industry in the world second only to China. It is a favourable rating by any standard but we have to work hard to maintain those figures as the test of the pudding is in the eating," said Mzembi.
WTTC is a forum for business leaders in the Travel and Tourism industry who work to raise awareness of travel and tourism as one of the world's largest industries, supporting 255 million jobs and generating 9 percent of world GDP.
Mzembi was elected President of the African Travel Association (ATA) for the next two years at the association’s annual conference in Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Karikoga Kaseke said used the conference helped give potential investors a better understanding of opportunities in the country’s tourism and hospitality sector.
"The hosting of this prestigious congress by Zimbabwe is another great stride in the right direction as we look to enhance growth and development in the tourism sector," Kaseke said.
ATA last held its congress in the country in 1988. The meeting is largely seen as an opportunity to market tourism to the American market, which remains the world's biggest economy.