By Daniel Chigundu
ENVIRONMENT Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira say the government has put in place a diaspora tourism strategy that will go a long way in gaining confidence in the market which had been lost due to challenges in the previous administration.
Zimbabwe is working on restoring lost pride in the tourism sector which saw arrival statistics going down even in the country’s main markets.
The Ministry and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) have employed various turnaround strategies that include opening marketing offices and visit Zimbabwe campaigns which have seen them visiting many countries.
Addressing guests at a dinner held for a 35-member delegation from the United Kingdom Diaspora, Minister Mupfumira said the diaspora market is important and should not be ignored.
“The importance of diaspora tourism cannot be underestimated especially as we look at recovering the glory that has since been lost in the past decade. Ladies and gentlemen, it is fact that many Diasporas had lost confidence in destination Zimbabwe given the challenges that bedevilled the country in the previous decade.
“Admittedly, Zimbabwe has not been tapping into this market. However, going forward and as part of the tourism recovery plan, we have since put in place a diaspora tourism strategy that will see more programs targeted at diasporas being conducted in various source markets particularly United Kingdom, South Africa and the United State of America.
“The 35-member delegation you see today ladies and gentlemen is a clear reflection of the potential of diaspora tourism benefits to Zimbabwe,” she said.
It is reported that there are about six million Zimbabweans living in the Diasporas chiefly in South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United State and Botswana among many others.
According to the minister, the visit by the UK Diaspora group under the Starlight Global is a result of the re-engagement mission that was conducted in the United Kingdom in March this year whose main objective was to revive interest toward destination Zimbabwe.
The mission saw intensive engagements with the media, travel trade, airlines and the Diasporas.
The UK Diaspora delegation arrived in the country last Friday and will visit such places as Great Zimbabwe (Masvingo), Cecil John Rhodes grave, Victoria Falls and also embark on safari adventures among others.