Zimbabwe has launched the China Ready Training Programme, as it moves to tap into the vast Chinese market which spent over US$115 billion globally in outbound tourism expenditure in 2018 and is projected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to double the outbound trips to 200 million by 2020.
Zimbabwe joins over 45 countries who have been certified China Ready in guaranteeing memorable experiences for Chinese visitors and tourists.
The training programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and one of China's leading experts in market representation, training, audit, promotion and accreditation, Welcome China.
The training, which is being conducted by Welcome China's chief executive Dr Marcus Lee, will enable participants to fully appreciate among other things; the Chinese culture and customs, market segments, preferences, behaviour and popular technologies.
Speaking at the launch in Harare recently, Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira said tourist arrivals from China had increased tremendously over the years.
"Anyone ignoring China at this moment can do so at their own peril given that the country is now globally acknowledged as a vital source market," she said.
"On the home front, Zimbabwe tourist arrivals from China grew from 14 407 arrivals in 2017 to 19 428 in 2018. The country is definitely destined for better prospects now that we have taken a giant step as a destination to become China Ready."