Some delegates and Zimbabwean government officials who attended the five-day 37th annual congress of the Africa Travel Association which ended Tuesday in Victoria Falls say the event was a success though there is need to engage the international community on political issues scaring away tourists.
The delegates said as Zimbabwe assumes the presidency of the association, it is necessary to now extensively market the country to potential tourists in Europe and North America.
The congress identified lack of direct airlines to Zimbabwe and tough barriers of entry into the tourism market as hindrances for promoting the sector.
Ilala Lodge manager Siphambaniso Moyo who attended the event told VOA Studio 7 Zimbabwe also needs to create a conducive business environment for airlines and other entities.
Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said Zimbabwe hammered a $10 million deal with Wilderness Safaris for upgrading hotel infrastructure in Victoria Falls.
The more than 600 participants who attended the ATA event included tourism ministers and industry experts representing tourism boards, tour operators and their product development executives, front-line agents, ground operator companies, airlines, and hotels.
The Africa Travel Association (ATA) is the leading global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa and strengthening intra-Africa partnerships.
Established in 1975, ATA serves both the public and private sectors of the international travel and tourism industry. It partners with the African Union Commission (AU) to promote the
sustainable development of tourism across Africa.