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UK, Commonwealth Lift Travel Warnings

BRITAIN and the Commonwealth have, with immediate effect, lifted

travel advisories warning their citizens against visiting Zimbabwe with the

European Union promising to do the same in the next week or so, a Cabinet

minister has said.

 

The Commonwealth joins Japan, Germany, and the United States who have since

lifted their travel warnings.

 

Addressing the International Business Meeting at the ongoing Zimbabwe

International Trade Fair in Bulawayo yesterday, Tourism and Hospitality

Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said Britain had communicated to his office

that it had lifted travel warnings.

 

"Allow me to announce that Britain and the Commonwealth have removed travel

warnings they had imposed on their citizenry.

 

"The EU has promised that it will do the same in the next one-and-a half

weeks. So there is no need for anyone to claim that we have failed to do

business because tourists are banned from visiting this country.

 

"America, Japan, Germany and others have done the same, so we should be

seeing a flooding of our resorts by tourists from these countries," Minister

Mzembi said.

 

He said once the EU lifts travel warnings, that would signal the end of

travel warning regimes that have severely affected tourist arrivals in

particular, and business in general, since citizens of those countries

adhere to the their government warnings.

 

"There will be no more excuses because we are now a safe destination and

anyone can come. I have received more than 25 letters from countries that

are working on removing travel warnings in the EU and elsewhere," he said.

 

Minister Mzembi said he would, next week, lead a delegation to Brazil to

negotiate with that country's football bosses to have the Samba Boys, as the

Brazilian national team is affectionately known, camp and train in Zimbabwe

ahead of the 2010 World Cup soccer finals in South Africa.

 

"I am leading a delegation to Brazil and hopefully we will be able to

convince the Brazilians to camp here first before going into South Africa

for their matches.

 

"When we were fighting politically, other countries were moving in and

clinching deals with teams that qualified for the soccer finals, so we now

have to move fast and put ourselves in better deals," he said.

 

Minister Mzembi challenged the banking sector to ensure that plastic money

is made available so that tourists do not have to carry with them huge sums

of cash. "We urgently need to sort out our use of cash. No tourist would

want to have a lot of cash while travelling to several places in the

country," he said.herald

 
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