Destination Zimbabwe takes its tourism campaign back to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this week where the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is exhibiting at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which takes place on 1-4 May.

ZTA Chief Executive, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, has said that her organization is using the Arabian exhibition as an opportunity to create awareness on ‘Destination Zimbabwe’.

“We intend to maximise our visibility efforts in this market for the destination through showcasing the country’s tourism and cultural products as well as promoting it as a safe tourism investment destination,” said Muchanyuka.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing a steady increase of tourist arrivals from the Middle East source markets since 2004.“We are treating this market as a greenfield, and hence, our efforts will be largely based on broadening awareness and visibility,” she said.

“We have in the past recorded relatively steady tourist inflows with our figures sitting around 10 077 arrivals pre-Covid. We had a significant drop due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve once again started to see a pronounced regrowth as we recorded 6593 arrivals from this market in 2022 compared to 1002 from 2021,” she added.

Muchanyuka said the growth in pre-pandemic numbers was attributed to promotional campaigns that had been put into effect mostly through participation at various exhibitions, including the ATM as well as hosting of media and tour agencies on destination familiarisation tours.

Muchanyuka said participation at travel fairs like Arabian Travel Market, market specific road shows, and digital marketing were major promotional tools, which ZTA is using to increase destination visibility in the Middle East markets.

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.