Netherlands gives Zim tourism a chance

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AS part of the re-engagement process between Zimbabwe and the western governments the Royal Netherlands has poured $ 100 000 into the country’s tourism sector in sponsorship for Zimbabwe’s participation at Vakantiebeurs 2015 this month.
Vakantiebeurs is an annual European tourism expo.
This year’s expo runs from the 13th to the 18th of January in the Netherlands and is going to give Zimbabwe an opportunity to showcase itself as a tourism destination.
Ambassador Gera Sneller said: “We have taken a new approach to development since the expiry of the inclusive government and now we need to support the private sector. We want development to happen and to see the economy growing”.
Karikoga Kaseke, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive, said the sponsored opportunity will give Zimbabwe an opportunity to stage some road shows in Netherlands and Belgium.
“We see this as a great opportunity for us to retain our visibility in Europe,” he said while acknowledging the sponsorship.
Zimbabwe’s image had been tarnished by the government’s controversial land policy and human rights violations.
This led to the isolation of the country by the western governments who went on to issue some travel warnings to their citizens and imposed sanctions on the President Robert Mugabe administration and corporates associated with the veteran leader and his Zanu PF party.
Tourism naturally suffered as the numbers of tourists drastically dropped.
It was only during the unity government five years ago that the west started to  relax the embargos but in instalments.
Last November marked a new beginning as the European Union announced its decision to lift all the sanctions save for President Mugabe and his wife Grace.