Story by Nelly Nhauranwa in Denver, USA
Zimbabwe has been tagged a hot sell by one of America's top travel consortiums, Travel Leaders. Speaking at a presentation by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in Denver Colorado Springs, a Travel Leaders agent, Donna Evanoika said,”The presentation by the ZTA on Zimbabwe is an eye opener as we as Travel League Inc under the Travel Leaders consortium are now confident of adding Zimbabwe in our packages. The improved connectivity and the new Victoria Falls International Airport are encouraging elements to get travelers to Zimbabwe. We had no idea of the host of tourist attractions Zimbabwe has to offer other than the Victoria Falls and we intend to add Zimbabwe on our missionary tours, honeymoons and safari.” She said. Travel Leaders is the largest and most celebrated network of professional travel network specialists in North America with over 75 years experience and thousands of agents in cruise, resort and tour companies.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe continues to be a highlight at the Denver Travel Adventure show. Sandeep Talwar President and CEO of Travdek has expressed a keen interest in packaging Africa. “We are looking to branch out and break new ground in Africa. Meeting the Zimbabwe team has given us insight on how we can begin working with Zimbabwe as a new hot spot for the US. We have been in the travel trade for 40 years and specialized with other continents and in a survey conducted by our company 75% of the travelers that we have taken to India or the Orientals have said they would want to go to Africa (Zimbabwe included) as their next vacation destination.” he said.
The ZTA's area manager for North America Dr Evelyn Chidyausiku is ecstatic about Zimbabwe's presence in the US and remarked, “We have had very heightened interest from the US market over the past 2 years which pretty much accounts for the 19% growth recorded in 2015 and 40% increase by the third quarter of 2016.”
“Our participation at the Travel Adventure shows would not have come at a better time as Zimbabwe is a buzz word across all the states we are visiting. In a few days we are ready to invade Philadelphia and Dallas as we continue to profile Zimbabwe as a must visit destination of choice for US travelers. In the past 2 years we have received awards and special recognition in the US from New York Times as One of the Must Visit Places in the World at number 14 out of 50 global destinations. CNN also named us the best safari destination and such recognition bears testimony that indeed destination Zimbabwe has becomes favourite holiday destination for the US market.” Chidyausiku added.
Zimbabwe is currently on a drive to explore the US and profile Zimbabwe as a safe destination of choice across California, Denver, Philadelphia and Dallas with a series of back to back meetings with the travel trade during the travel adventure shows and outside of the shows. Tourism remains a strong contributor to the GDP in Zimbabwe as the ZTA seeks increase GDP contribution from 11.6% in 2015 to 15% by 2020.