A 20-member Chinese delegation jetted into Harare yesterday ahead of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair. The 2012 Tourism Trade Fair, organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, will be held in Harare under the theme; "Celebrating Africa's Tourism Diversity", from October 18 to October 21.
The delegation comprises journalists, buyers and investors.
ZTA spokesperson Mr Sugar Chagonda yesterday said there was a need to target the fastest growing markets in India and China.
"We need to tap into this growing market by engaging such operators and their media to create awareness about this destination in their country," he said.
Mr Chagonda said arrivals from Asia, particularly China and Japan, are on the increase.
He said tourist arrivals from China stood at 30 549 arrivals in 2011 compared to 12 343 in 2010.
"We are optimistic that the arrivals will continue to grow and our efforts are paying greater dividends.
"The coming of these buyers from China is a clear statement that Sanganai/Hlanganani 2012 edition is ready to take off.
Mr Chagonda expressed his gratitude to the Chinese whom he said is investing in different sectors.
"They are not only intensifying tourism but are also constructing hotels," he said.
The head of the Chinese delegation, Mr Fay Given, said it was the first time for most of the delegates to visit Zimbabwe.
"I am very excited to come to Zimbabwe which is different, unique, wild and beautiful.
"We do not know much about Zimbabwe and we would want to see more of this beautiful country," he said.
Mr Fay said the visit was also going to promote relations between Zimbabwe and China.
More buyers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and United Arab Emirates among others are expected to arrive in due course.
Sanganai/Hlanganani showcases Africa's tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world.
The fair is the successor of Shanyai/Vakatshani, the Zimbabwe International Travel Expo that was held annually.
It targets among other exhibitors national tourism boards, embassies, international airlines, tourism destinations, tour operators and travel agents, leading hotel chains, transport operators and suppliers of goods and services to the tourism industry.