The Zimbabwe Business Council says the recent visit by one of the world’s richest men and owner of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson offered the country an opportunity to market its tourism potential.
Last week, Branson took part in the Zambezi Valley Walk for Wild Expedition covering Mana Pools and Matusadona national parks.
The month-long conservation walk which started on June 6, covered a distance of more than 330km through an area of 6,3 million acres of diverse habitat and ended last Friday.
Describing Branson’s visit as good for the country, Zimbabwe Business Council president Wengayi Nhau said: “When you have outstanding personalities or celebrities of the calibre of Branson and other individuals who are of his calibre, you attract the world’s attention. I remember years back we had Michael Jackson, Don Williams and Bill Gates just to mention a few shifts.
“These are opinion leaders, they hold a great amount of influence as you probably know that the world is now digital, people are following a lot of events and developments on social media, and having a person like Richard Branson who has such a huge following on social media, especially in Zimbabwe participating in such an activity is a plus to us as the tourism sector.
“We also want to believe that this will be an opportunity for him to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe. Most investors come as tourists when they come to scout for business opportunities. So we hope that being the owner of one of the biggest airlines in the world, he could also be scouting for investment opportunities, particularly the aviation sector.”
The Zambezi Valley Walk for Wild Expedition is a brainchild of John Stevens and the Zimbabwe Elephant Fund (ZEF) team.
Stevens is a renowned warden of both Mana Pools and Matusadona National Parks.
Inspired by the extinction of the rhinoceros, in 2015 Stevens decided to take action in case the same happened to elephants by forming ZEF through the assistance from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.