HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s tourist operators have said the year 2012 has seen an influx in the number of hunters and tourists into the country, which is a sign of better prospects next year.
Zimbabwe Safari Operators Chairperson Emmanuel Fundira was quoted by state radio on Monday saying the safari industry had good business from traditional markets such as Europe and the United States.
Fundira said they are expecting an influx of hunters and tourists, adding that bookings have already been made.
Next year, the country is hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly, an event which is expected to attract thousands of delegates in the tourism industry.
The signing of a tripartite agreement in May 2012 has been believed to greatly contribute to the increase in tourist arrivals in the country in the second half of the year.
The agreement was signed at the Victoria Falls Bridge by President Robert Mugabe, Zambian President Michael Sata and UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
Barbara Murasiranwa, an official of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism in Victoria Falls, said the agreement brought confidence among international travelers as it endorsed the country as a safe tourist destination.
“I believe the signing of the tripartite agreement between the two presidents and the UNWTO brought confidence to travelers in the whole world, and also confirmed Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination,” Murasiranwa said.