COMMENT: The hospitality industry needs to make sure that visitors come back

The Chronicle

TEN CEOs of major corporations in America visited Victoria Falls last week and spent three days in the resort town. The executives are on a 12-day voyage, the first Roar Africa Emirates Executive Private Jet voyage, dubbed “The Greatest Safari on Earth”.

Zimbabwe was the first stop on the Four Nations journey, and Roar Africa’s founder and CEO Ms. Deborah Calmeyer said she chose Zimbabwe as the first stop because the country had set its own history as a pacemaker in hospitality.

She said the executives enjoyed their stay in Victoria Falls and signaled that they want to come back.

“We had the most amazing time from a warm welcome and hospitality, immaculate airport to a fantastic flight over the falls and other activities like wine tasting and tiger fishing,” said Ms. Calmeyer.

Zimbabwe was named the world’s safest travel destination under Covid-19 restrictions last year.

A US-based travel and tourism agency Tourlane has placed Zimbabwe at number one in the top 15 travel destinations in the world, including Thailand, Fuji, Zambia, Seychelles, Japan and Cambodia.

The visit of American executives is therefore an endorsement of Zimbabwe as the safest travel destination and the tourism and hospitality industry should build on it to attract visitors from major global markets.

Zimbabwe has hosted international celebrities in the past, including Hollywood stars and the couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uefa President who is also FIFA Vice President Aleksander Ceferin and his wife Barbara and Honorary Commander of the British Navy, Ms. Durdana Ansari.

Other celebrities who visited the country included the South African television presenter and celebrity Maps Maponyane. Maponyane, who spent a day in Victoria Falls, spoke enthusiastically about the falls.

Well-known American comedian and TV presenter Steve Harvey and his wife Marjorie also visited Victoria Falls.

The challenge for the tourism and hospitality industry is to make sure these visitors come back as repeat visits are critical to the growth of our tourism industry. We have no doubt that the American executives who were in the country last week will be our ambassadors promoting Zimbabwe as the travel destination of choice.

The country can only get the maximum benefit from its world-class tourist attractions like Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe National Monument and other such attractions if it is able to attract many overseas visitors from major markets like America and China.

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