JAPANESE tour operators have arrived in Zimbabwe on a mission to sample the tourism product, culture, hospitality and explore business opportunities.
The visit is a follow up to calls made during by Zimbabwe when it participated at the Japan Association of Travel Agents some time ago.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said the visit is a show of confidence and a success of the country’s various tourism marketing strategies.
“We are very excited as ZTA with such activity, with such confidence within the market towards our destination it means there is something that we are doing right, there is something that is happening in the country, it means that there is something worth the attention that we are getting from outside and Asia, in particular, is a market we look at as an emerging market.
“It’s a market we want to grow as much as we can and so we would like to welcome the Japanese and also thank the travel agencies that have made this particular arrangement to come to life, the Zimbabwean ones as well as the Japanese that have brought the team that has come to visit Zimbabwe,” he said.
Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the ZTA has employed various marketing strategies in a bid to attract more tourists to the country.
Tourism is one of the country’s major economic revival pillars and is also regarded as the lowest hanging fruit in the economy with quick wins.
Koti said they are expecting to grow the Asian market through such activities as the current visit by the Japanese tour operators.
“We do hope that as they leave they will also be preaching the gospel of a beautiful destination called Zimbabwe. So we are very excited as a country we are very honoured and we look forward to the growth of the market through these kinds of initiatives and of course, if they go back they will obviously sell the country as much as they can to their market.
“So we are ready for the Japanese market though we would like to improve here and there but we are overly excited that they have seen it fit to come to Zimbabwe and explore this destination and all the things that it has to offer, it is indeed a world of wonders they will be quite amazed and impressed,” he said.
According to UNWTO statistics, the Asian is one of the leading global sources of outbound tourists and has maintained the status for the past many years and is even projected to channelling more driven by China.