Zimbabwe targets 13 500 tourists from Gulf Region by 2021

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Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority- ZTA- is targeting to receive 13 500 tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by 2021 after the appointment of outsourcing and technological services specialists, VFS Global to promote the country in the region and in India.

Kaseke said the ZTA was also targeting 16 000 Indian travellers by 2021 through sustainable destination marketing by 2021.

The GCC is a regional grouping comprising the energy rich Gulf countries Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Addressing a press conference in Harare Thursday, ZTA Chief Executive, and Karikoga Kaseke said the absence of the country in the region had created room for negative perceptions on the country, adding the appointment of VFS Global, who will be Zimbabwe’s Market Representatives, would help increase awareness of Zimbabwe and establish destination presence and visibility.

“However, we are now ready for this market because Zimbabwe is  now open for business…we anticipate a rise in arrivals from the GCC region to 13 500 by 2021 as VFS Global embarks on aggressively marketing the country,” he said.

Kaseke added, “Zimbabwe has recently targeted India as a primary market due to its potential resulting from the rapid growing disposable incomes in India. India is a huge market for Zimbabwe; hence the modest approach to target at least 16 000 Indian travellers by 2021,” he said.

VFS Global Regional Group COO, Jiten Vyas said Zimbabwe had so much untapped tourism potential as it was bestowed with a rich cultural heritage and was now strengthening its tourism business and entering potential markets.

“We are pleased to partner with ZTA to put this country that has so much of untapped tourism potential on the world map for travellers from India and GCC who can now experience the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Vyas said by promoting Zimbabwe’s tourism, VFS Global could positively contribute to building the Zimbabwean brand and develop the country’s economy.

The ZTA and VFS Global signed a five year deal Thursday that would see the company build a unique identity for Zimbabwe, which has for a long time been isolated by the global community.

This would be done through education of and raising awareness among tour operators, travel agents, MICE planners and general travellers based in India and the GCC.