By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE, like many other world countries, will not be participating in this year’s International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin because of the deadly coronavirus that has devastated China and spread to many other parts of the globe.
The world’s largest travel show was scheduled for 4 March.
The organisers of the event have also cancelled it due to the virus.
In a statement, ZTA acting Chief Executive Givemore Chidzidzi said Zimbabwe’s tourism sector had been ready and looking forward to attending the 2020 edition of ITB.
“It’s very unfortunate that cancellation has become the only option in the face of this epidemic,” said Chidzidzi Monday.
“Our prayers and thoughts go to those affected by COVID-19 and we also pray that the epidemic comes to an end.
“ZTA and the entire tourism industry has been making preparations to be part of this year’s event.
“We had a record 30 operators who had booked exhibition space on the Zimbabwe stand ready to take on the international travel industry. The response from our local industry had been overwhelming and indeed encouraging.
“We would like to thank all stakeholders and partners in the local tourism sector for their relentless efforts to promote our beautiful destination. Information on any developments regarding ITB and other forthcoming major tourism events will be shared.”
Zimbabwe had assembled a strong delegation which was to be led by the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Nqobizitha Ndlovu, comprising the ZTA and tourism operators.
The thrust was to continue on re-engagement efforts with the international tourism players.
According to a statement issued by the organisers of the fair, due to the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus, the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics have decided to cancel International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin.