The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has entered into a promotional partnership agreement with aviation player South African Airways at the Arabian Travel Market which got underway on Monday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

ZTA who are exhibiting at the ATM are keen to reposition the country as a must visit destination.

The Chief Executive, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, said the focus at this year’s edition of the WTM was to look at improving air access into destination Zimbabwe.

“We’re delighted to have partnered with SAA in this region. This collaboration will improve direct traffic into the country particularly in the Victoria Falls and Hwange region. It is a place of interest for the market,” she said.

Zimbabwe has in the past recorded relatively steady tourist inflows with arrivals sitting around 10 077 arrivals pre-Covid. There was a significant drop due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re gaining traction from this market in terms of arrivals as we recorded 6593 visitors from this market in 2022 compared to 1002 from 2021. The engagement with the aviation sector will definitely see us increasing traffic from this part of the world directly into the Victoria Falls,” said Muchanyuka added.

The event was attended by over fifty travel trade professionals who included tour operators, Destinations Management Companies, Agencies and Travel Writers.

The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe President, Farai Chimba, said this was a welcome move for the country’s tourism industry.

“This is positive for us, access remains the most critical link for our business. These kind of synergies create opportunities for increased arrivals into the Victoria Falls that can be spread throughout the country,” said Chimba.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the United Arab Emirates, Lovemore Mazemo who was the guest of honour at the partnership launch event endorsed the promotional arrangement between the two organisations.

“We are keen to see the entities building up on this arrangement and increasing the traffic flow into destination Zimbabwe. It is such a strategic partnership that should see both parties enjoying improved business activity,” said Ambassador Mazemo.

The ATM is a travel and tourism event aimed at unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.

Tourism destinations from the Middle East and around the world showcase a diverse range of accommodation options, breath-taking tourism attractions, and new airline routes.