There was much jubilation among Zimbabwean hotels and tour operators this year when Zimbabwe scored a double victory at the European Council on Tourism and Trade, being unanimously voted as ‘Word’s Best Tourism Destination in 2014’ as well as Favourite Cultural Destination.
Coming hot on the heels of the successful conclusion of the World Tourism Organization General Assembly, which took place on 24-30 August 2013, and was co-hosted with Zambia, this announcement was well received by the international tourism fraternity as a whole.
Bringing together tourism fundi’s from over 120 countries, the WTO placed Zimbabwe’s tourism sector right in the spotlight, and highlighted Zimbabwe as a safe and well-run place to visit, with the capacity to put on major events with flair and aplomb.
Zimbabwe pulled out all the stops throughout the proceedings of the August event, and clearly it worked. By impressing all who attended, despite logistical and economic challenges, the organisers of the WTO general assembly have put this beleaguered African country firmly on the worldwide tourism map.
All the attendees were also impressed by Zimbabwe’s fantastic ecologically sustainable tourism ventures, which enable visitors to have a great experience, while benefiting local communities and without causing harm to the environment. Numerous activities in Zimbabwe take place with sound ecological practices in mind, such as bungee jumping, kayaking, catch and release fishing, boating and, of course, safaris – be they guided or unguided, on foot or otherwise. These activities further highlight Zimbabwe as an adventure sport destination par excellence.
Victoria Falls and the National Parks such as Mana Basins, Exfoliated Hills, Chilojo Cliffs, Matobo Hills, Mana and the Eastern Highlands were recognised as outstanding achievements in the sphere of green tourism, and the many historical and cultural sites were a hit with the European council on Tourism and Trade too.
The rebirth of Harare as a historical and spiritual centre and the preservation of historic places, such as the Zimbabwe Ruins, Khami Ruins, Matobo Hills and Ziwa all counted in favour of Zimbabwe’s election as ‘World’s Best Tourist Destination’ for 2014.
Finally, the standard of hospitality and accommodation in Zimbabwe was recognised as outstanding in the worldview.
This announcement bodes well for the tourism market in Zimbabwe, so make sure you book your ticket to see what all the fuss is about, before the rush starts.