ZIMBABWE TOURISM HITS BACK

Tomas Haupt - May 16, 2011
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After a decade of political turmoil, Zimbabwean tourism is well on the road to recovery as African trust has been regained in the country and more and more foreigners have started visiting.

Up until around two years ago, Zimbabwe was a center of political violence and turmoil; race issues were raging around the land and beauty spots such as Lake Kariba, Victoria Falls and the Eastern Highlands were far away from the main topic of most conversations.

Since the new government has started to show signs of stability and unity, Zimbabwean tourism has been thriving as a result. 2.3 million foreigners came to Zimbabwe in 2010, meaning an increase of 15% on the previous year. The biggest increase, however, came in revenue whereby Zimbabwe managed to rake in $770 million thanks to tourism, meaning a jump of 47% on the previous year.

According to the Zimbabwean Tourism Agency, 87% of these tourists came from other African countries, whereas the second placed Europeans made up a mere 6%. The USA came in third, closely followed by Asian countries.

Considering that Zimbabwe has a massive amount of attractions to offer, the figures are no less than should be expected. The ZTA has mentioned that it has a target of 5 million foreign visitors by 2015. If it manages to dispel the memory of the violent past and promote its natural beauty, there is no particular reason why the target cannot be met. In terms of Victoria Falls, help may be needed from neighboring Zambia to allow more tourists to visit the waterfalls without unnecessary paperwork.

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