Home » General » Chinese Tourist Arrivals Plunge 270 Percent

CHINESE tourist arrivals to Zimbabwe plunged in the first half of this year by 273 percent to 2,730 from 10,173 recorded during the same period last year, according to preliminary figures released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Monday.

Overall, visitors from Asia during the period declined by 61 percent to 16,370 from 26,420 recorded during the same period last year.

The ZTA attributed the sharp decline in arrivals from Asia to decreased arrivals from China, Japan, and South Korea which are the region’s leading markets.

“This is contrary to the prevailing trend in which China is the leading outbound source market globally,” the ZTA said in a report.

Rigorous visa-applying procedure, poor air connectivity, and high costs are believed to be the main obstacles barring more Chinese to visit Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe, with one of the world’s top waterfall – the Victoria Falls – received 867, 163 tourists in the first half of 2014, rising by a marginal one percent from 860,995 tourists recorded during the same period last year.

The ZTA attributed the slight increase to increased arrivals from the Americas, Europe, Middle East and the Oceania.

Africa, although it recorded a one percent decline to 745,566, remains Zimbabwe’s biggest tourist source market with an 86 percent market share, followed by Europe with 7 percent, America 4 percent, Asia 2 percent and the Oceania and Middle East with 1 percent each.

The ZTA also said that average hotel room occupancy rose by one percent in the first half of this year to 42 percent from 41 percent last year.

On the outlook, the ZTA said it hoped that arrivals will further pick up as the year progresses, but warned that growth in the performance of the accommodation sector will likely be constrained by the liquidity challenges in the country.

Source : New Zimbabwe