As we face the end of our busy year I would like to update you as to what we have been doing on your behalf as your committee and also what you can look forward to in the last quarter of our year.
We have had a very busy and enjoyable year. We said goodbye to Gwen Joseph who unfortunately left us for greener pastures, but she was replaced by her very efficient daughter Daina, whom I’m sure you will agree is doing a fantastic job.
Over the last few months we have all been so fortunate to see the arrival of new airlines, old airlines and new aeroplanes into our market. The arrival of the Boeing 787 into Zimbabwe was indeed very exciting. Ethiopian Airline’s “Africa First” made it’s touch down in Harare on Monday the 20th of August 2012. This was long before the aircraft has been seen at the airports in Europe or America. The return of KLM Royal Dutch Airline, LAM Air Mozambique and Air Namibia shows that the confidence levels in our Zimbabwean market have grown. It is a sign that the airlines not only have faith in the traveling public, but also in us travel agents as an industry. We need to maintain our high standards already set. We also welcome SA Express to our Zimbabwean skies.
There is nothing easier than direct flights, especially for families, elderly people and students, all of whom will be enjoying this service. Competition is very healthy as it gives the passengers the choice of airline. It uplifts the service levels onboard as well as brings down the fares. The airlines are also more likely to reward us, their committed agents who spend their day selling seats on the various services by reintroducing commission levels, incentive programmes and educational tours.
With the coming of the new airlines, as well as our existing airline partners, it was interesting to note that the number of tourists who visited Zimbabwe during the first six months of 2012 had gone up by 17 percent from 637,389 last year to 767,939, the African Development Bank has said. We would hope that this growth rate would continue.
Our Zimbabwe Council for tourism has had a facelift and sees Mr Glenn Stutchbury at the helm.
We are beginning to see positive results of a dedicated man who has the industry’s future at heart.