A high-powered delegation made up of tourism stakeholders will represent Zimbabwe at the ITB 2019, which is the world’s largest tourism trade fair beginning March 6 to 7 in Berlin.
The 26-member delegation drawn from tour operators, buyers, sellers, car hire, service providers and hoteliers met yesterday Environment, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira who applauded the players for their commitment and support to brand Zimbabwe.
Minister Mupfumira said business was booming in tourism sector as seen by operators who subscribed to ITB 2019.
This year the number of operators almost doubled from 15 last year to 26 this year and as the event draws closer more are expected to take part.
“I’m overwhelmed by the subscription to this year’s ITB with 26 operators compared to 15 last year.
“As a sector we say business is booming and we thank tourism operators . . . your efforts have been appreciated from the highest office.
“From 2.6 million arrivals in 2018 we received global recognition of Zimbabwe as a safe tourism destination and must visit place for 2019 and we also got the Travel Award third place after Sri Lanka, German and then Zimbabwe.
“We are also in the Top 10 Best, must visit counties in 2019,” she said.
She said Zimbabwe was going to the ITB to tap into the 7 billion Euros market realised at the fair and to consolidate its third position as the 2019 must visit destination.
Minister Mupfumira said the tourism had broken the 1999 record after it reached the 1 billion mark of foreign arrival which if added to the local reached 1.5 arrival.
While connectivity was still an issue, she said, Government was there to facilitate the tourism operators. She said Zimbabwe has a bundle of benefits which include unique culture, climate, warm people, landscapes as well as the big seven among other unique tourism attractions such as the Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe.
The ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) is the world’s largest tourism trade fair.
The companies represented at the fair include hotels, tourist boards, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies.
The thematically ordered market segments help visitors and exhibitors to quickly find their way through the wide product range of ITB Berlin: Book World, Business Travel Days, Cruises, Cultural Tourism, Economy Accommodation, eTravel World, Adventure & Responsible Tourism, Gay & Lesbian Travel, ITB Mobile Travel Services, Training and Employment (Career Center), Travel Technology, Trends & Events, Wellness, Youth Travel.