US-Based Zimbabwean Born Travel Agent Marketing Local Tourism To World Executives

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VICTORIA FALLS: Zimbabwe-born and US-based tourism agent, Deborah Calmeyer has taken it upon herself to market the country’s tourism through an extraordinary ‘bucket list’ travel to world executives.

She formed ROAR AFRICA 15 years ago and Wednesday morning brought to Zimbabwe 10 American executives that landed in Victoria Falls.

The executives are on a 12-day tour of Africa.

In Victoria Falls, they will sample various activities until Friday morning before proceeding to Okavango Delta in Botswana, Kenya’s Great Migration, and the world’s last wild mountain gorillas in the forests of Rwanda.

The Seventh Natural Wonder of the World, the Victoria Falls,  was the first stop and Calmeyer said she deliberately chose Zimbabwe first as it is her motherland.

They flew in the Flight of Angels before touring the Rainforest and took a boat cruise where they were testing Gin as part of the activities.

Thursday has been set aside for game drives, fishing, cruise, and other activities, according to the team’s itinerary compiled by local organisers Love for Africa.

“There is only one of this (aircraft) in the world and this is the first trip of its kind in the world. It’s never been there and Zimbabwe was our first stop because it’s my home country. So I wanted to share and I knew they would love it,” Calmeyer told soon after landing at the Victoria Falls International Airport.

The group is literally hiding at Matetsi River Lodge along Zambezi River, deep in the Zambezi National Park to enjoy nature with minimum human disturbance.

The trip is termed the; “Greatest & Safest Safari on Earth” and is the first-ever such trip aboard the luxurious ROAR AFRICA Emirates Executive Private Jet trip owned by the Fly Emirates.

Calmeyer is ROAR Africa’s founder.

She said: “This inaugural ROAR AFRICA Emirates Executive Private Jet Safari is an extraordinary bucket list travel experience designed to preserve and support Africa’s wildlife, wild spaces, and communities. The first-of-its-kind experience is aimed at transforming the 10 wealthy executives into change agents for conservation and sustainability.”

They plan to visit Zimbabwe again from 26 to September 7 in 2022 and 2023.

Calmeyer said she was happy to be back home marketing her country and creating tourism ambassadors in the form of corporate executives.

“Zimbabwean people are so special, they are really amazing, they are amazing,” she said.

She said the country had set the stage by successfully rolling out the Covid-19  vaccination exercise which has seen more than two million people being jabbed and more than one million being fully vaccinated.

This has brought confidence in the country as a safe destination.

“Zimbabwe has been doing well in vaccinating its people and everybody in the group is feeling totally safe here,” said the Norton-born Calmeyer.

She is married to a South African who is a pilot and both are based in the US.