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"It is indeed a great honor for me to witness the arrival of this special group of visitors to Zimbabwe..."
Zimbabwe received its initial cohort of 20 Chinese tourists on Tuesday after the COVID-19 outbreak, amidst a formal commemoration held at the Victoria Falls International Airport near Zimbabwe's prime tourist destination, Victoria Falls.
"It is indeed a great honor for me to witness the arrival of this special group of visitors to Zimbabwe, the first tour group from China after the COVID-19 pandemic," said Givemore Chidzidzi, chief operating officer of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
According to the statement made by Chidzidzi, the tourism sector of Zimbabwe has experienced a resurgence owing to the contribution of the Chinese market, after facing severe hindrances from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Chidzidzi, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation experienced a conspicuous reduction in the number of visitors arriving, declining from 2.29 million in 2019 to 639,000 in 2020. In parallel, the revenue generated from tourism also suffered a downturn, decreasing from 1.25 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 to 360 million dollars in the 2020.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority held a ceremony to welcome the the first Chinese tourists group at Victoria Falls Intl. Airport today. China already declared Zimbabwe as a tourism destination for its citizens after the pandemic. Welcome more & more Chinese tourists to Zimbabwe������������ pic.twitter.com/oon22YVVPa
— Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe (@ChineseZimbabwe)
May 16, 2023
"Before the pandemic, Zimbabwe received 22,000 visitors from China in 2019, but this declined to 3,600 arrivals in 2020," said Chidzidzi.
Nonetheless, according to Chidzidzi statement, travelers from China who arrived in Zimbabwe during 2022 were 23,422 individuals, an achievement that surpassed the statistics recorded in 2019 amidst a persistently dwindling trend of tourist visitations in the contemporary global marketplace.
"We are therefore excited about the coming back of organized groups like we are witnessing today, as it heralds a new recovery trajectory for tourism from China," Chidzidzi said.