Reputable travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet has placed Zimbabwe as the third best travel destination for the year ahead.
Asian island country Sri Lanka was listed as the best in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 followed by Germany and Zimbabwe in its latest publication.
It considers the southern African country a gem which is on the verge of a new tourism boom.
As of 2011, Lonely Planet had sold 120 million books since inception and by early 2014, it had sold around 11 million units of its travel apps.
It says “while it may be known for making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Zimbabwe has always been a country that travellers on the ground have raved about.”
Lonely Planet considers it not only as one of Africa’s safest destinations but as having been “blessed with ultra-friendly locals, Big Five-filled national parks, World Heritage-listed archaeological ruins, forested mountains and, of course, the mighty Victoria Falls.
“Although the controversial 2018 election may have dampened the unbridled optimism following the end of Robert Mugabe’s time in power, the sense of hope for what the country can become remains strong in Zimbabweans.”
It also correctly notes that Zimbabweans generally deem a tourist visit as a sign of support after enduring nearly two-decades pariah status with very few travellers coming in.
“A visit here is viewed by locals as a sign of support of them on their journey to a new dawn,” Lonely Planet notes.
The company first making travel publications in the early 1970s and grew to an extent that had to pay over $140 million to acquire it back in 1999 before later divesting by selling its stake to NC2 Media.
In 2009, Lonely Planet began publishing a monthly travel magazine called Lonely Planet Traveller in the UK, and in 2010, it launched the Indian and the Argentine editions. Its Korean edition, with a digital edition for iPad, was launched in March 2011.Its Chinese version was launched in Mainland China in Aug 2012. In October 2014, Lonely Planet announced a U.S. version of the travel magazine.
It also has its own television production company, which has produced numerous series, such as The Sport Traveller, Going Bush, Vintage New Zealand, and Bluelist Australia, along with the following – Globe Trekker – television series (also known as Pilot Guides) inspired by and originally broadcast under the name Lonely Planet; and Lonely Planet Six Degrees – hosted by Asha Gill and Toby Amies.
Lonely Planet also produces Roads Less Travelled – a television co-production between Singapore’s Beach House and Lonely Planet Television, airing on the National Geographic Adventure Channel 2009–2010. This is a reality-based travel series following nine Lonely Planet guidebook authors and photographers.