From ‘Zimbabwe Africa’s Paradise to Zimbabwe A World of Wonders’: Benefits and Challenges of Rebranding Zimbabwe as A Tourist Destination

Tendai Chibaya


The Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is taking various initiatives to bring in the visitor to earn Zimbabwe the much needed foreign currency earnings through destination rebranding. The paper explores the reasons why the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) rebranded the Zimbabwe destination from Zimbabwe Africa’s Paradise to ‘a World of wonders’. It also aims at determining the benefits and challenges this has brought. Between 2000 and 2008, Zimbabwe’s image was badly damaged and it received many negative safety reports in various media. The destination was perceived more dangerous than some war-torn countries. With regard to the former brand, ZTA had the hardest sell in the world with political and economic instabilities from 2000 to 2008, which was characterised by a hyper inflationary environment, repeat cholera epidemics, and violent elections. This predicament was worsened by the global financial recession of 2008. Cumulatively, this resulted in a massive decline of tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe. As a result, this motivated the ZTA as a destination marketer to look for a strategy to reinstate the confidence of tourists so that they could reconsider Zimbabwe as a preferred holiday destination. The research used a descriptive research design. Data were collected through an interview survey with three ZTA branch managers. Results found that, the new brand replaced an out-dated brand, and aimed at moving with the times, providing peace of mind to tourists by building confidence and trust, as well as sharing of common vision among the stakeholders. ZTA is lacking adequate resources in form of financial resources, skills and technology. As well, political challenges are still present thus hindering the successful rebranding and marketing. A key conclusion is that the changeover from the old brand to a new brand was a way of admitting that there was no paradise over the past decade in Zimbabwe.

Keywords: Destination branding, Macro environment, World of wonders, Paradise, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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