Nigerian Tour Operators Charmed By Zimbabwe

The Nigerian Tour Operators who recently came to Zimbabwe on a five-day familiarization tour have pledged to tell the Zimbabwean story back in their native country after being charmed by the country’s tourist destinations.

The group had a memorable experience as they toured Bulawayo, Hwange and Victoria Falls. Zimbabwe, according to them, is a hidden gem that they see Nigerians would gladly uptake.

“We are amazed at what Zimbabwe has to offer and would proudly want to announce that we are committing to bringing groups of Nigerian tourists without fail in the next 12 months to enjoy  Zimbabwe A World of Wonders,” remarked Ndubuisi Ukpabi of Tour Brokers International.

Ukpabi noted that the trip to Zimbabwe had been his best trip in Africa so far.

“The trip was an eye-opener to what Zimbabwe has to offer, it is truly a destination that is set apart to form the usual experiences we have seen. We would like to promote intra-African travel as only we as Africans can grow our continent by first visiting each other than going to Europe or Americas for holidays. Through such partnerships as with Kenya Airways we can easily access beautiful destination Zimbabwe.” he added.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Chief Executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke said he was pleased by the feedback from the entourage

“I can confirm that the Nigerian tour operators that we hosted on an educational tour have signed commitment forms which stated that they would send groups to Zimbabwe within the next 12 months. The return on investment we expect from this group is high as they have already received favourable Standard Tour Operator (STO) rates from the tourism industry in Zimbabwe and are planning packages for the July, August and September holidays in Nigeria. We believe this is a major milestone pursuant to gaining ground in this untapped African market.” he said.

However, Kaseke bemoaned the absence of market representation in Nigeria and access issues being major hindrances to tapping into the Nigerian market.

“It is appalling to note that South Africa received 50 921 arrivals in 2017 down from 65 599 in 2016 while we received just 1 979 in 2017 down from 2 641 in 2016.

“Clearly our own figures are a joke in comparison to South Africa but it is because their tourism is prioritized and well – resourced besides the fact that they also have daily flights from Nigeria. South Africa has its representatives in their tourist office who are stationed in Nigeria to promote South Africa in Nigeria. We have nothing of that nature so surely how do we expect to get tourists from there?” said Kaseke.

ZTA, continues to unpack various programs to lure tourists from across Africa and the globe, an indication that Zimbabwe is open for business.

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