Netherlands is keen to support growth of the Zimbabwean tourism sector after agreeing to fund international exhibitions run by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Dutch ambassador to Zimbabwe Gera Sneller told Standardbusiness at the sidelines of Dutch good growth fund (DGGF) workshop held in the capital recently that her country was funding ZTA’s international exhibitions.
Sneller said she was working with ZTA to help expand its potential in marketing the country abroad and lure tourists and investments in the country.
Netherlands is set to finance ZTA exhibition at the Dutch Holiday Fair to be held in January next year with the travelling, visa and exhibition expected to cost around 35 000 euros.
Sneller said Holiday Fair was a grand event that invites interested attendees and visitors from all over the world, providing the perfect platform for participating exhibitors to meet and interact directly with a plethora of prospective customers, thereby helping the organisations to expand business in the international market.
“This helps not only the Dutch people to know about wonderful destinations in Zimbabwe, but people across the globe who have unanswered questions about the country so as to let them know that Zimbabwe has the big five and beautiful wildlife parks and investment opportunities,” Sneller said.
She said Netherlands sponsored ZTA to exhibit at the International Travel and Tourism Market (ITTM) held in the Hague between April 15 and 20.
The 2014 ITTM which was held under the theme “buy now sell now,” was meant to create a platform for brand exposure, investment opportunity, networking, cross-marketing and trade exchange.
Netherlands’ support to ZTA comes as the authority last month signed a tour services agreement with the Netherlands-based Aviareps Tourism (Aviareps) under a cost-effective strategy to market the country.
ZTA head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda said the destination promotion partnership covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, known as the Benelux market under a new thrust or process.
The agreement will see Aviareps marketing and representing ZTA on behalf of Zimbabwe in return for an undisclosed fee.
The tourism sector is on a growth path with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry projecting the sector will grow to US$5 billion by 2018.
Europe remains one of the chief source markets although arrivals have plunged due to tense political relations between Zimbabwe and the west, which issued travel warnings against the country.