Once one of Africa's most beautiful destinations, Zimbabwe has been off the mainstream tourism radar for years.
Robert Mugabe's three decades of rule, while ostensibly democratic, have been widely criticized by locals as a dictatorship.
Tourism collapsed when white farmers were driven from their land, and famine and hyperinflation ensued.
Since adopting the U.S. dollar as its currency in 2009, economic healing has slowly begun, with foreign investment driving much of the recovery.
Now, the country's stunning natural and cultural are recapturing the attention of both foreign travelers and investors keen to capitalize on that interest.
Tourist arrivals increasing
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority's latest Tourism Trends and Statistics Report claims visitor numbers increased 17 percent to 400,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 2012.
Nearly half come from South Africa.
Euromonitor International predicts steady growth in several tourism areas (accommodation, transport, attractions) for the next five years.
Victoria Falls, the top tourist draw, has always brought visitors, even in the dark years.
Hotel occupancy isn't at capacity, to be sure. But hotels, airports and other logistics all run relatively smoothly.
Five-star properties such as the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge have been able to maintain a luxurious standard.
Work began earlier this year on a massive upgrade of the Victoria Falls airport, which currently handles commercial flights from Harare and Johannesburg.
The overhaul, reportedly costing $150 million, is financed by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, and will include a new runway, control tower and terminal building.
A number of international carriers had stopped service into the country. Now Emirates and KLM are offering service to Harare again.
Air Zimbabwe resumed its service to Johannesburg in August.
New hotels, malls
Luxury projects in the capital include a proposed $70 million Mall of Zimbabwe.
Hilton is said to be considering a five-star hotel in Harare.
"At this time we have no signed projects to announce in Zimbabwe, but we think there is great potential in the market," says Heather Shaw, a representative for Hilton.
"We are exploring opportunities that we believe would create value for us and our partners."
Tara Walraven, an Africa Safari Specialist at Audley Travel, says the company is fielding numerous queries from people who want a dedicated trip from the UK to Zimbabwe, or who want to add a few nights to a Botswana safari.
"It's a lovely country, people are so friendly, so excited to have people visit them," says Walraven, who grew up in Zimbabwe and visits her family there.
"We don't have any concern about people traveling to Zimbabwe at the moment. We can't send people to a country that isn't safe."
Politics and challenges