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Zimbabwe lures China direct flights

24 Dec 2019 at 06:01hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is lobbying for a direct flight from China to Zimbabwe as it seeks to attract more tourists from the Asian giant.

ZTA said the absence of a direct flight between the two countries has seen a decline in tourist arrivals.

ZTA executive director (international marketing) Mr Jeffreys Manjengwa said this recently while addressing a 10-member Chinese delegation that is in the country for the Hunan-Zimbabwe Cultural and Tourism Forum. The aim of the forum is to scout for cultural and tourism opportunities available in the two countries.

The delegation is headed by Hunan University Vice Chancellor Mrs Wu Guiying.

Mr Manjengwa said he was looking forward to the introduction of a flight from China to Harare or Victoria Falls as the number of tourists from the world's second largest economy are quite low.

"We noted that since the withdrawal of Air Zimbabwe flights from Beijing the number decreased and we are looking forward from the Chinese friends to introduce a flight into Zimbabwe through Victoria Falls or Harare and we think that will help to improve our national relationships," he said.

Mr Manjengwa said they were looking forward to getting assistance from the China for the expansion of airports in Kariba, Masvingo and Kanyemba to boost the number of tourists visiting those areas.

He hailed the expansion projects of the Harare and Victoria Falls airports being undertaken by Chinese companies.

Speaking at the same occasion, Mrs Wu said their visit exposed them to vast tourist destinations available and were looking forward to promoting tourism in both countries.

She said Zimbabweans has close ties with Hunan Province which has beautiful sceneries, lakes, mountains, rich cultural traditions and cuisine. The delegation had the opportunity to visit Great Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls and Chinese projects being undertaken in the  country.

They also visited the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Confucius Institute at university of Zimbabwe and Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

Locally based Chinese entrepreneur Mr Steve Zhao said in terms of cultural exchange, Dreamstar Arts Troupe has been on the forefront of promoting Zimbabwean culture through music and dance to various cities in China.

According to ZTA in 2009, about 33 000 Chinese tourists visited Zimbabwe but in 2017 the number dropped to 12 000.

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Source - the herald
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