By Phil Tejane|
More Americans visited Zimbabwe in the first nine months of 2014 than in the whole of 2013, a trend the top US diplomat in the country said pointed to a future wave of visitors.
Americans have visited Zimbabwe in greater numbers since a damaging travel ban induced by Zanu PF violence was lifted in 2009 after the formation of a coalition government with the opposition parties.
“Looks like we are on track for another strong showing of U.S. tourists to Zimbabwe,” said US ambassador to Zimbabwe, David Bruce Wharton, in a Facebook post. “According to Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Tourism, 45 553 Americans visited Zim Jan-Sept 2014 vs. 45 496 for all 2013. That is a lot of tourist $$! I’m looking forward to complete 2014 numbers in a few weeks. In the mean time, it looks safe to say that the USA still sends more tourists to Zimbabwe than any other country outside of Africa.”
The US government faces criticism, however, for promoting trade at the expense of human rights. Washington is also criticized for touting Zimbabwe as a prime tourist destination despite ongoing repression by the Mugabe government.
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