Michael Tome Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is participating in this year’s edition of the World Travel Market (WTM), the second largest international tourism fair in the world, after the Internationale Tourismus Bourse (ITB — Berlin).
The three-day fair, which is currently underway in London, United Kingdom, is expected to attract over 50 000 participants worldwide including senior travel industry professionals, airlines and international media.
WTM offers a perfect platform for global travel trade stakeholders to gain insight into the future of the industry, discover innovations, and share boundless business opportunities and is anticipated to provide business and networking opportunities for diverse destinations of the world.
The travel show will likely avail Zimbabwean companies and stakeholders in the tourism sector opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) engagements critical to the improvement of the local tourism industry.
Zimbabwe last participated at WTM London in 2018 and is looking forward to reincarnating relations on the tourism front with the United Kingdom which is Zimbabwe’s second-largest overseas source market after the United States (US).
Environment, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister, Barbara Rwodzi is leading the Zimbabwean delegation at the symposium along with 10 other industry players seeking to market domestic offerings, particularly to the high-spending European market.
WTM is considered an excellent platform for brand positioning and promotion as it also offers an extensive supporting programme through seminars, educational events, award ceremonies, and destination briefings.
It also brings up-to-speed with global development professionals that help in shaping the travel and tourism industry for the next 12 months.
Just like many other tourist destinations across the globe, Zimbabwe is still recovering from the shattering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hence the need to push brand Zimbabwe closer to the fore of the tourism world.
“Destination Zimbabwe’s participation at WTM London will mainly focus on re-engaging and engaging key source markets after a long period of international travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Engagements such as these will work towards boosting the recovery of international tourism, regain the lost market share and build confidence on destination Zimbabwe in key source markets of the world,” said Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer.
WTM, which returns after the lifting of international travel restrictions, is running under the theme “Reconnect, Rebuild, Renovate”.
It is highly expected to provide massive business and networking opportunities for different destinations of the world.
The global travel trade fair is reputed for always connecting leading travel providers, accommodation suppliers and tour operators.
The fair offers a perfect platform for the global travel trade to gain insight into the future of the industry, discover innovations, and share endless business opportunities.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, World Tourism Barometer, international tourism continued to show strong signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the first seven months of 2022.
International tourist arrivals grew by 172 percent between January and July 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
This means the sector recovered almost 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels which reflects strong pent-up demand for international travel as well as the easing of travel restrictions to date.