The ZTA said the increase was 13% above the projected average growth in arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa this year of 5%.
Mainland Africa remained the major source market, accounting for 308 646 arrivals in the period, up 19% from 258 388 in the comparative period last year. Overseas arrivals increased 5% to 37 653, up from 35 810 last year despite general economic instability in the western world.
Arrivals from America grew 28% to 9 901, while Europe’s contribution increased 16% to 16 829 in the same period. Europe contributed 46% of the overseas arrivals, followed by the Americas at 26%. Asia, Middle East and Oceania plunged 23%, 37% and 7% respectively.
However, ZTA sees arrivals from these regions increasing due to the recently-introduced new airlines flying into the country. The drop in arrivals from Asia was mainly due to a 52% slump in China’s contribution, attributed to the unavailability of direct access previously provided by Air Zimbabwe.
“This means our destination becomes more expensive to the Chinese through other connecting routes,” said ZTA in the report.
However, Zimbabwe’s air travel market share dropped by 14% from 17% last year, largely attributed to problems bedevilling Air Zimbabwe.
South Africa maintained its position as the main source market in mainland Africa, representing a market share of 43%, a 2% growth from last year.
National average hotel room occupancy levels grew to 42% during the period, 6% ahead of the figure recorded last year, while bed occupancy levels also rose to 31%, up from 27%.
Lodge room occupancy levels grew to 42%, increasing from 36% recorded in the prior year in the comparative period, while bed occupancy levels also surged 5% to 30%.
Victoria Falls, however, recorded a 3% drop in both room and bed occupancy, a development attributed to a decrease in arrivals from its major source markets such as Japan, China, South Korea, UK and Germany.
Kariba and Masvingo both recorded a 6% decline in room occupancy also attributed to falling numbers of foreign clientele.