Upping the tourism ante in Zimbabwe

Upping the tourism ante in Zimbabwe
Published: 04 October 2016 (2704 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

WATCH: Mnangagwa praises 'father of the nation' Mugabe

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 263 Views

Chihuri booed at Mnangagwa inauguration

by Stephen Jakes | 24 November 2017 | 447 Views

At least 155 killed in mosque in Egypt

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 90 Views

Zodwa Wabantu plans Zim tour post Mugabe resignation

by TshisaLIVE | 24 November 2017 | 268 Views

Mnangagwa to make job creation a priority

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 219 Views

Mnangagwa praises 'father of the nation' Mugabe

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 143 Views

Mnangagwa calls for peaceful 2018 elections

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 177 Views

'All foreign investments will be safe,' promises Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 150 Views

Mnangagwa to compensate white farmers

by Staff Reporter | 24 November 2017 | 215 Views

Man loses 3 teeth to wife

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 178 Views

'Grace Mugabe used me'

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 324 Views

Chimene makes u-turn, now supports Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 270 Views

Soldiers rescue Mphoko's Choppies

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 234 Views

Open letter to Mthwakazi.

by Kernan Mzelikahle | 24 November 2017 | 125 Views

The New Zimbabwean president faces high expectations. will he fulfil them?

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 24 November 2017 | 118 Views

Mnangagwa sworn in as Zimbabwe President

by AFP | 24 November 2017 | 231 Views

Oscar Pistorius's murder sentence increased to 13 years

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 95 Views

Mnangagwa's poisoned chalice

by Crecey Kuyedzwa | 24 November 2017 | 176 Views

Shembe dies

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 129 Views

Mnangagwa inauguration programme

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 158 Views

Concern over Jonathan Moyo, Kasukuwere, Chombo security

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 270 Views

Mnangagwa's timeline

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 130 Views

The dramatic rise and fall of Grace Mugabe

by Christopher Farai Charamba | 24 November 2017 | 263 Views

Khama Billiat non-committal

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 91 Views

Kaindu returns to Zambia

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 107 Views

Mnangagwa takes oath of office today

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 133 Views

From Chairman Mao to Deng - from Mugabe to Mnangagwa

by Darlington Musarurwa | 24 November 2017 | 116 Views

Sodomy storm for policeman

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 94 Views

Mnangagwa assures Mugabe, family of maximum security

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 101 Views

Fissures in MDC Alliance over formation of Transitional govt

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 89 Views

Mugabe not invited to Mnangagwa inauguration

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 145 Views

Dabengwa offers to serve under Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 228 Views

'Jailing Mugabe would bring Zimbabwe bad luck'

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 61 Views

Soldiers torture Kasukuwere's maids

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 163 Views

Mugabe jumped before he was pushed

by Peter Fabricius | 24 November 2017 | 74 Views

Mnangagwa allies, army targeting families of Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 219 Views

Tsvangirai to attend Mnangagwa inauguration

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 604 Views

Chiwenga challenged to clarify G40 arrests

by Staff reporter | 24 November 2017 | 205 Views