Zim, China’s Hunan Province hold forum to discuss tourism cooperation

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Zimbabwean tourism officials and a visiting delegation from China’s Hunan Province on Thursday held a cultural and tourism forum in Harare.

The forum, aiming to explore ways of boosting tourism cooperation between the Hunan Province and Zimbabwe, capped the delegation’s three-day official visit to the country. The delegation was led by Wu Guiying, vice governor of Hunan Province.

Guo Guquan, the deputy director of Hunan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, told the forum that Hunan, located in south-central China, was keen to strengthen tourism and cultural cooperation with Zimbabwe.

He briefed the forum about Hunan’s rich cultural and tourism resources and its great potential for tourism development, saying more interactions and tourism exchanges would help to unlock tourism benefits for the two sides.

“We hope that this dialogue will help us to create opportunities for further tourism cooperation between our two sides,” Guo said.

Representatives from the tourism sectors of the two sides made presentations about tourism opportunities between the two sides at the forum, including Yiyang Vice Mayor Huang Donghong, market director of Hunan Huatian International Travel Service Li Fan, Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation founder Steve Ke Zhao, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority executive director for international marketing Jeffreys Manjengwa and Zimbabwe National Museums and Monuments official Happiness Marufu.

Manjengwa said Zimbabwe was keen to learn more about tourism development from their Chinese counterparts, noting that China had a long history of rich culture and tourism.

“Since the withdrawal of Air Zimbabwe flights from Beijing, the number of Chinese tourists has declined, and we are looking forward to China introducing flights into Zimbabwe through Victoria Falls or Harare International Airport,” Manjengwa said.

“We also look forward to seeing international hotel chains from China building hotels throughout Zimbabwe. We have a lot of investment opportunities in tourism,” he added.

In her concluding remarks, Vice Governor Wu said the forum had enabled the delegation to gain more knowledge about Zimbabwe’s tourism potential, and called for more exchanges to boost tourism cooperation between Hunan Province and Zimbabwe.