Zimbabwe is set to welcome a thirty-five member diaspora delegation from the United Kingdom on Friday 5 October 2018. The visit which comes as a follow-up to the re-engagement mission to the United Kingdom by the Honourable Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality industry, Honourable P Mupfumira in March where she implored the need for the Diasporas to visit, explore possible opportunities and invest in Zimbabwe.
The expedition comes at an opportune time where Zimbabwe is looking at intensifying Diaspora tourism as part of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy whose strategic intent is to recover the loss market share in varied source markets and the United Kingdom in particular. Diaspora Tourism is an essential component of tourism and successful destinations have leveraged on this with specific emphasis on getting the Diasporas in their different facets to connect to their Zimbabwean and African roots in general.
The anticipated delegation constitutes individuals from diverse backgrounds and nationalities with expertise in areas such as Arts, History, Culture, Technology, Accountancy, Teaching, legal, Counselling, Medical, Engineering, Coaching and Social work. During their stay the team will embark on a scouting mission on opportunities in health tourism, agriculture, housing development and mining. The group will also embark on a tour around Zimbabwe.
Speaking on this visit, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke highlighted the importance of diaspora tourism not only to the tourism economy but to the national economy at large. He also reiterated that the Diaspora tourism programme will not only look at the Zimbabwean Diasporas but all African and European and American Diasporas.
Over the last 35 years, the number of worldwide international migrants has almost doubled, from 76 million to 150 million. With the projected increase immigration especially in the United Kingdom where it is anticipated that the total population will rise to over 70 million with 70% attributed to immigration, it is imminent that destinations leverage on Diaspora tourism with the main objective of tapping into this market.
Zimbabwe in particular has since lost its citizens to other countries which brings the much needed impetus to lure them to connect back to their roots. Although the exact population statistics of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are not known, it is estimated that there are more than 6 million Zimbabweans spread across the globe in countries such as; South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. with the majority residing in the regional countries and the United Kingdom.
The recovery plan will see Zimbabwe embarking on a number of marketing programmes in the region and overseas markets.