Zimbabwean tourism has been steadily rising in the past couple of years. This is refreshing, given how Zimbabwean tourism had plummeted at some point. This was due to political and economic hurdles that negatively affected Zimbabwe’s reputation. That has since changed, with tourist arrivals consistently going up. In 2022 for instance, there was a 165 percent spike in tourist arrivals between January and September. Even local tourist activity has been going up. In 2022 Zimbabwe was also ranked amongst trending global wedding destinations. There have been exciting shifts in the Zimbabwean tourism business. Let us talk about some of them.
Wedding-Oriented Packages Becoming A Thing
Some of you might have been surprised when in 2022 Zimbabwe was ranked the most trending global wedding destination. It is interesting how many people do not know that. Anyways, I want you to see how exciting shifts have affected that dynamic. Later last year, African Sun started offering wedding packages at some of their resorts. They would essentially charge per guest, e.g. US$30 per guest.
Thus your budget would be a function of how many people are attending and specific things you need to be included. This is something that more and more operators need to jump onto. I know some already offer venues for events, e.g. conferences, weddings, and the like. However, many do not quite offer specific wedding-oriented packages. It is worth considering now; it is becoming a thing.
Holistic Packages For Entertainment Events are Becoming A Thing As Well
This has been steadily coming up as well. However, it has not yet become quite widespread. I will mention one example so that you get it. There was some time not too long ago when there was a Winky D show at the Rainbow Towers. There was a holistic package where you could purchase a ticket, accommodation, and meals onsite. This means you could check in before the show and come down once it starts. Then once it was done, you would return to your room.
Do you see the convenience it provided? Do you also see how it was a witty way for Rainbow Towers to maximize its revenue streams? This is something that is slowly creeping in, and many places can make money from this. Even if it is not on-site imagine show organizers liaising with accommodation providers nearby. Think outside the box! The bottom line is that providing holistic packages for entertainment events is the way to go.
Pre-Planned Multiday Holiday Packages On The Rise
Globally there has been an interesting trend ever since the lockdowns went away. There has been a general increase in the average length of holidays or trips tourists take. This has also been largely the same in Zimbabwe. Thus some operators are now riding on the wave of extended holidays or trips. The average is still largely three days, but some extend to 7 days or more. Thus you now find operators offering pre-planned multiday holiday packages. Let me give you an example to see what I mean. I recently came across a pre-planned multiday holiday package as follows:
It is a Nyanga Tour, and it will be from the 24th to the 26th of March this year. If interested, you are required to pay a deposit of US$50. You can even pay the balance in applicable instalments, given the duration left to the dates. It is going to cost US$230 per person. That amount caters for:
Transport (From Harare to Nyanga and back)
Activities (Mutarazi Falls Visit, Quad Bike Rides, Paintball, World’s View Visit, Nyangombe Falls Visit, Nyangombe Pools Visit, Archery, Games, Pit Structures Tour
Pre-planned multiday holiday packages like this are becoming widely popular in Zimbabwe. Notice how reasonable the pricing is. Plus, you do not have to wonder what to do. It is, in essence, like a multi-day guided tour.
More Flexible Payment Terms Making It More Affordable
Did you also notice the flexible payment terms? At times such pre-planned multiday holiday packages can be advertised starting months prior. For example, a package can be advertised, say, six months prior. Let us suppose it costs US$300. You pay a deposit of US$50. If you decide to pay in instalments, you can pay the balance at US$50 each month for five months. This makes it relatively affordable for more local Zimbabweans to visit and experience lovely places.
Influencer Marketing Now Commonplace In Zimbabwean Tourism
The place of influencer marketing cannot be disputed anymore. The world over, influencer marketing has proven to be efficacious. Even in political campaigns, influencer marketing is now a huge thing. In Zimbabwean tourism, influencer marketing is now commonplace. Some of the operators are doing it uniquely. They can enter an operating agreement with a famous social media influencer. Let us use the Nyanga Tour as an example again.
They can offer the influencer to go there for free and maybe pay them something. Then the influencer starts advertising that they will be going there. Due to the influencer’s popularity, many people will become interested in going. This is because they will be eager to have that opportunity to spend time with someone they follow. This is just one approach, but the approaches used are many. This is pushing the tourism industry forward in Zimbabwe nowadays.
These are some of the shifts at play now in Zimbabwean tourism. The future looks bright for the Zimbabwean tourism industry. If these shifts and more are sustained and enhanced, the industry will go far. It is refreshing to see how the Zimbabwean industry has recovered over the years. We have barely scratched the surface, though; there is more!