Friday, April 17, 2009


THE United States has lifted travel warnings issued to its citizens against Zimbabwe in 2002, its Harare embassy announced yesterday

The lifting of the US travel warnings comes hard on the heels of the lifting of similar warnings by Japan, a development expected to open the floodgates for tourist arrivals

The message was officially communicated to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr. Karikoga Kaseke by US Embassy Consul Mr. James Jimenez at a meeting held at the ZTA offices yesterday afternoon

Mr. Jimenez, however, declined to speak to the Press, referring all questions to Mr. Kaseke

"The American government, on the advice of its Embassy here in Harare, has lifted the travel warnings it issued in 2002 and has since been reviewing consistently.

We are very happy with the meeting we held with Mr. Jimenez. He came to convey to us that his country had lifted travel warnings. This is what we have been fighting for over the years.

The American government has been warning its citizens against travelling to Zimbabwe since 2002 and we have always been telling them that the decision was very harsh on us. The last travel warning was issued on December 12 last year,’’ Mr. Kaseke said after the meeting.

Mr. Kaseke said American tourists were among the biggest spenders in the world, as they did not spend less than two weeks at one destination.

"Our history has it that US tourists spend about two weeks at our destinations and they spend between US$6,000 and US$12,000 each. Our politicians from the President, his Vice Presidents, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister have been very loud on the need to remove travel warnings and sanctions.

We want to urge more countries to emulate the American government and lift travel warnings as well as lift sanctions,’’ he said.

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