Published December 29, 2012
As Zimbabwe prepares to host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly, tourist operators in the southern African country say 2012 has seen an influx in the number of hunters and tourists into the country, which is a sign of better prospects in 2013.
Zimbabwe Safari Operators Chairperson Emmanuel Fundira is quoted by state radio saying the safari industry had good business from traditional markets such as Europe and the United States.
Fundira says they are expecting an influx of hunters and tourists and that bookings have already been made.
Jointly with Zambia, Zimbabwe is set to host the UNWTO General Assembly, an event which is expected to attract thousands of delegates in the tourism industry.
The signing of a tripartite agreement in May 2012 is believed to greatly contribute to the increase in tourist arrivals in the country in the second half of 2012.
The agreement was signed at the Victoria Falls Bridge by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Zambian President Michael Sata and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
Barbara Murasiranwa, an official of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism in Victoria Falls, says the agreement brought confidence among international travellers as it endorsed the country as a safe tourist destination.
“I believe the signing of the tripartite agreement between the two presidents and the UNWTO brought confidence to travelers in the whole world, and also confirmed Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination,” Murasiranwa says.