Upping the tourism ante in Zimbabwe

Upping the tourism ante in Zimbabwe
Published: 04 October 2016 (2981 Views)
Tourism is on the rise in Zimbabwe. Gambling is quite popular and the country has one of the largest concentrations of casinos in all of Africa. Tourism and, in turn, gambling makes up a major part of the economy of our nation, and tourism has steadily gone up for the last six years.  Over 1.9 million international tourists visited the country in 2015.
 

(Image Source: worldoftravel.com)
 
The direct contribution of travel and tourism to the GDP has increased almost 66% from just under $475 million in 2010 to well over $679.7 million by the end of 2014. It is currently ranked number 50 out of 184 countries for growth in tourism and its importance to the economy of the nation, and it is ranked 51 in long-term growth from 2015-2025.
 
The New Vacation Destination
 
There is increased popularity for Zimbabwe as a destination for not only African natives, but also with European and American tourists, and over 86% of the travel & tourism spending is for leisure travel as opposed to business. This decade also brings an increased popularity for adventure tourism. A 2013 Adventure Tourism Market Study was released showing that adventure tourism has risen 65% per year since 2009 and it was a $263 billion industry in 2013.
 

(Image Source: victoriafalls.com)
 
Zimbabwe has a unique opportunity to become not only the adventure tourism capital of Africa, but also the most luxurious destination the continent has to offer.  The foundation for both is in place and now is the time to build on it, however, getting to Zimbabwe can be one of the most challenging parts of planning a vacation for international tourists.  Most flights must come in through Johannesburg, making costs less appropriate for the budget traveler.
 
With that in mind, the tourism trade in Zimbabwe needs to begin marketing toward the affluent traveler with higher end tours, more luxurious resorts and the ability to host major events.
 
Zimbabwe, The Land of Adventure
 
Zimbabwe is called "The Country of Rainbows" for good reason. It also offers a wide range of adventures from rugged African safaris to houseboat adventures at Victoria Falls.  The Eastern Highlands mountain range offers unique horseback riding as well as golfing and hiking and the Matobo Hills offers one of Zimbabwe's prime wildlife sanctuaries for, among other animals, a large population of white rhino and the ever elusive black rhino. There are walking, riding and camping safaris available.
 

(Image Source: youngzimbabwe.com)
 
Victoria Falls is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, and something that belongs on everyone's bucket list.  For the adventure tourist, there is bungee jumping, speedboat racing and helicopter flights.  For the less adventurous tourist, there are houseboat homes available to act as a home base for any safari.  Daily sighting of hippo families make having coffee on the deck an adventure in itself.
 

(Image Source: magazine.happyholiday.travel)
 
Glamping (glamorous camping) is still relatively new to the area.  While there are many day and overnight camping safaris, there are few luxury camping safaris available to the wealthier tourist.  Nearby countries, Tanzania and Botswana offer two of the world's top ten luxurious glamping experiences, making it imperative Zimbabwe follow suit.
 
Making the Cities a Luxury Oasis
 
Tourists generally arrive in Harare from Johannesburg.  There are currently 16 casinos in Zimbabwe with almost half in or near Harare.  Only a few offer restaurants or hotel accommodations such as the Carribea Bay Resort & Casino and the Regency Casino Harare & Rainbow Towers Hotel.  Most are simply casinos primarily offering slot machines. Harare is perfectly positioned to become what Monte Carlo is for Europe, Las Vegas for the United States and Macau for the Orient.
 

(Image Source: rtgaafrica.com)
 
In the early 2000s, Macau was just a gambling destination for locals and Asian travelers from Hong Kong.  The casinos were brightly lit with fluorescents, full of smoke and people elbowing each other and altogether not an attraction for the international tourist.
 

(Image Source: apjtours.com)
 
In 2006, Las Vegas casino owners and investors took notice and changed the face of Macau forever. Smart investors saw an opportunity to be the first Vegas-like gambling presence in the orient, in the same way that a number forward-looking entrepreneurs have involved themselves with casino gaming throughout history. Macau now boasts hotel casinos from Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Galaxy Entertainment Group (MGM), the Venetian and the City of Dreams (Hard Rock, Crown and Hyatt). Because of this Macau had over 30 million tourists in 2015 and an unemployment rate of only 2%.
 
The Vision for Harare
 
Zimbabwe can attract the attention of major investors by simply be beginning the process of committing to becoming the luxury resort and gambling mecca of Africa.  Improving the existing casinos by adding restaurants, luxury hotel accommodations and shopping.
 

Image Source: latimes.com)
 
Harare can follow in the footsteps of Las Vegas and Macau and create 15,000 seat event centers and invite conventions, musical guests and live sporting events. With the addition of new facilities, even Las Vegas showed a 21% increase in convention, concert and sporting event attendance in 2015.
 

(Image Source: youtube.com)
 
People want to travel to Africa. U.S. News listed African cities Cairo and Cape Town in their top 15 World's Best Places to Visit, making Africa second only to the U.S. in most desired continent to visit. With a renewed commitment to tourism, Zimbabwe could become the luxury adventure capital of the next decade.


- Agencies

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Socialite eyes parly seat

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 30 Views

'Makamba not fit to be an MP,' says Zanu-PF

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 37 Views

'Mphoko is a Mozambican'

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 36 Views

'Re-industrialisation of Bulawayo a key priority'

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 30 Views

Zimbabwe needs policies which build Trust and attract FDI

by Enos Denhere | 25 April 2018 | 35 Views

WATCH: Chamisa versus Khupe fans outside High Court

by voa | 25 April 2018 | 46 Views

BREAKING: Kombi, train accident kills 4

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 41 Views

Singer distances self from six women

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 37 Views

Costly $2 sex

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 40 Views

Man found dead outside Pelandaba church

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 26 Views

'State infringing Undenge's rights'

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 27 Views

Commercial sex workers reap tobacco farmers

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 76 Views

'I never stole from Mugabe'

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 76 Views

Harare's Working Wives to hit screens soon

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 70 Views

The real problem with MDC-T or the Alliance

by Mr Tshingwane Lunga | 25 April 2018 | 108 Views

Khupe court case changes nothing, says Chamisa's faction

by Staff Reporter | 25 April 2018 | 115 Views

Zimbabwean soldier on a visit to SA shot dead

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 139 Views

Mnangagwa faces G40 headache

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 116 Views

'Chisa Mbama Chisa' poster infuriates Ndebeles

by Social media | 25 April 2018 | 204 Views

Zinara bosses acquitted

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 81 Views

Mutasa's household property to be actioned

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 89 Views

Chamisa to install WIFI at each rural homestead

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 75 Views

The newfound freedom to speak our mind

by Mike, Harare | 25 April 2018 | 68 Views

3 game ultimatum for Dembare's Lloyd Mutasa

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 120 Views

Dembare legends raise the red flag

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 90 Views

Pupil steals $1 000 from teacher

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 124 Views

Police undergo customer relations training

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 72 Views

'Chart path towards Zimdollar return'

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 104 Views

Ngezi Platinum to defend home record

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 59 Views

Zimbabwe seeks place in global village

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 59 Views

Govt promise to urgently resolve nurses' grievances

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 91 Views

Econet rewards brand ambassadors in Matebeleland

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 72 Views

Chivayo fails to complete pre-commencement works

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 80 Views

Middle class economy possible, says CZI

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 53 Views

Bribe attempts at Nust DNA centre

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 79 Views

Gangster 'killer' surrenders self to police

by Staff reporter | 25 April 2018 | 82 Views