Sunday, May 07, 2017

Tourists Troop to Peaceful Zimbabwe 
Sunday Mail Reporter

Tourism arrivals in Zimbabwe increased to 2,167,687 in 2016 from 2,056,588 recorded in 2015; a leap that officials have attributed to the country’s peaceful environment. Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke yesterday said, “The recent US$150 million facelift of the Victoria Falls International Airport which was commissioned by His Excellency, President R.G. Mugabe in November 2016 is a game-changer for the travel and tourism sector as it ushers in a new era of the country’s tourism development. “Victoria Falls is now an emerging regional aviation hub, connected to major regional cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria, Lusaka, Luanda, Windhoek, Gaborone and Maputo.”

Dr Kaseke said ZTA has registered 28 new restaurants, 17 new guesthouses and 28 incentive travel organisers since 2016.

He singled out the Zimbabwe Republic Police for special mention, adding that the authority is not against security checks.

“Recently, there were some concerns raised in Victoria Falls in terms of how we need to improve our collaboration with the police for national development.

“My comments in Victoria Falls on police roadblocks were misconstrued by some social commentators who thought we are against ZRP check points.

“We are not against the national duty that is ensuring peace and tranquillity in the country. Where concerns have been raised by the tourism industry, we have positively engaged and we will continue to engage the ZRP.” He added: “We would want to categorically state that the ZTA and the entire tourism industry are in full support of ZRP strategies to uphold law and order in the country.

“Tourists come to this destination to enjoy in a peaceful environment. We acknowledge and remain grateful to our police force for the role it continues to professionally play locally and internationally where it has also represented the country so well through participation in, among others, the United Nations peacekeeping and observer missions.

“The ZTA is proud of the support the industry has continued to receive, particularly from the office of Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri whose wise stewardship saw the establishment of the ZRP Tourism Police Unit.”

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