Expansion of the tourism industry has mainly been boosted by the development of the global economy.Several factors, such as evolution of mass transportation and motorization; introduction and implementation of information and communication technologies applications in the tourism sector; world’s gross domestic product (GDP) increase coupled with the growth of disposable income to be allocated to travel; improvement of security and rights for tourists; and the process of globalization, have remarkably contributed to expand the market for tourism activities(Hirst & Tresidder, 2016).
To Zimbabwe, tourism is vital in this fastest-growing global boom of tourism. Unfortunately, when the author of this dissertation (hereinafter the author) discusses with Chinese in Hangzhou, the authors found the issue of cognitive component, in which Chinese tourism consumers lack information associating with Zimbabwe tourism products, let alone the evaluation of its quality.
Unlike Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and even Macau, the brand name Zimbabwe cannot be an effective component evoking symbolic value for Chinese tourists.
To a business student like the author, it means a complete failure of her home country’s marketing strategy. The sadness caused by it motivated the author to conduct this research.
Zimbabwean tourism sector must keep up\nThe government of Zimbabwe conceded the tourism sector is the only one that can quickly extricate the country from the current clutches of foreign currency shortages and excessive unemployment rates in the formal job market. The sector has been regarded as having low hanging fruits that can provide a respite for the myriad of economic difficulties bedevilling the country at this time (Zhou, 2018).
In the fiscal year 2016-2017, the direct input of travel and tourism to Zimbabwe’s GDP was 3.5 per cent, the overall contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP – including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts – was over eight per cent. Tourism policies and infrastructure can create massive opportunities for a robust economy through job creation and direct and indirect income from tourism activities.
Nevertheless, in 2017, Zimbabwe ranked 117th in the most likely travel destinations in the world as compared to South Africa which ranks 60th. There is room for Zimbabwe to catch up, the problem is what strategy to implemnt (Roy, 2018).
Current trade data shows that the country was overly reliant on raw material exports namely, minerals (54%) and unmanufactured tobacco (21,3%), a situation that is not healthy for the country’s economy as it means that we are simply exporting jobs to other markets where these are being value-added.
Additionally, Zimbabwe’s economy is at risk because the bulk of our exports are destined mainly to South Africa. This situation leaves Zimbabwe vulnerable to economic shocks in (that) market. Potential is there for Zimbabwe to generate foreign exchange through tourism as economic diversification(Nyoni, 2019).
From time to time, the image of Zimbabwe in China is a backward developing country. UN in fact has no formal definition of developing countries (Khokhar, 2015)\nThe typical stigmas for Zimbabwe include brutality, poverty, corruption, safety, security issues, and low level of environmental sustainability (Mahere, 2019) (Brett, 2006)
he author of this dissertation (hereunder the author) hopes this dissertation can help Zimbabwean government formulate strategies for sustainable tourism so that more Chinese will visit Zimbabwe for mutual understanding.
Tourism apparently is an important tertiary service industry of economic significance and widely recognized as a key sector for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, given its major potential to contribute to jobs and generates revenues and wealth for Zimbabwe. (World Tourism Organization,2017).