ZTA briefs Japan on Zim political deal

Chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke told New Ziana that the delegation was in the Asian country as per agreement with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs which had advised the authority to brief them on the post-election situation.

Head of the Chinese, Asia and Pacific market, Ben Ncube, is leading the delegation.

Kaseke said the team would inform the Japanese on the recently signed power-sharing deal between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.

“The Japanese market revealed that it had no problems with local tourism products but was concerned about the political situation,” he said.

The political deal, Kaseke said, had the potential to encourage the Asian country to review its travel warning on Zimbabwe.

“We hope that the team’s efforts will result in total upliftment of the travel warning,” he said.

Japan issued a level two travel warning on Zimbabwe, which it later reduced to level one after engaging the ZTA which assured them that Zimbabwe was still a safe tourist destination.

Karikoga said the authority was supposed to brief Japan after the June presidential election run-off but protracted negotiations between the two parties had made it impossible to produce a solid report on the prevailing political situation.

“All along there had been no concrete information to present regarding the political situation but now that there is an agreement we have something to present,” he said.

He said a Japanese delegation visited the country in June and produced a positive result that saw the warnings being reduced to level one because some grey areas were still unresolved.

Meanwhile, Kaseke said the ZTA would also embark on road shows in Japan to lure more tourists into the country.

Focus, he added, would also be targeted on operators for the forthcoming Sanganai Travel Expo to be held next month.

“Japanese tour operators have already confirmed attendance but we would like more players to come,” he said.

The expo would be held in Bulawayo. ‘ New Ziana.

September 2008
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