Potential expo exhibitors overwhelm ZTA

Evelyn Mahlaba

ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) has been overwhelmed with the number of potential exhibitors at this year’s Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo with officials saying the enthusiasm generated will stimulate economic growth by creating business opportunities and more revenue streams within the tourism sector.

The 16th edition set for Bulawayo from October 12 to 14 at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre has to date attracted 300 exhibitors who have confirmed their participation.

Last year, ZTA targeted 250 exhibitors, however, the authority managed to surpass the set target as 270 exhibitors were recorded.

International buyers have started arriving in the country and are engaged in pre-expo tours across the country, specifically in the Eastern Highlands, Hwange, Victoria Falls, and Kariba.

The annual event, organised by ZTA in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, provides a platform for tourism players, both local and international, to network, explore collaboration opportunities and exhibit their products and services.

The exhibition forms part of the Tourism Recovery Plan to achieve a US$5 billion economy by 2025.

Money – Image taken from Pixabay

ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Godfrey Koti told Business Chronicle that the increasing number of exhibitors demonstrates the growing significance of the expo.

He said the  year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo stands out from previous editions.

“Firstly, the overwhelming support from the tourism sector, with over 330 exhibitors confirming their participation, demonstrates the growing significance of the event,” said Mr Koti.

“This increased participation allows for a wider range of tourism-related industries to be represented, showcasing the breadth and depth of offerings available.

“In terms of preparation, the Expo team has been working diligently to ensure a successful event. With only two days remaining, everything is on track and ready to welcome exhibitors and visitors alike.”

As for the number of visitors, Mr Koti said the expo is expecting over 100 buyers.

He said some of them are engaged in pre-expo tours across the country, specifically in the Eastern Highlands, Hwange, Victoria Falls, and Kariba.

“These tours provide an opportunity for the buyers to explore different regions and connect with local businesses, fostering potential partnerships and collaborations,” he said.

The expo will have special forums running concurrently such as the inaugural Aviation Forum.

ZTA has indicated that it will be hosting the Zimbabwe Tourism Investment Forum (ZTIF) on October 13.

The forum will be held under the theme: “Tourism Investment — Re-imagining Sustainable Partnerships”.

The event is expected to be attended by Government institutions and agencies, local authorities, business associations, pension funds, asset companies, banking and financial institutions and real estate institutions.

Mr Koti added that Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo holds immense importance for tourism sector  as the platform showcases the diverse tourism offerings within the country, attracting both domestic and international attention.

“By bringing together exhibitors, buyers, and industry professionals, Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo stimulates economic growth by creating business opportunities and generating revenue within the tourism sector,” he said.

Mr Godfrey Koti

“Additionally, the event helps promote the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and hospitality of the nation, further enhancing its reputation as a desirable travel destination.”

South African Tourism Regional General Manager-Africa, Ms Evelyn Mahlaba told Business Chronicle that they are delighted to participate at the expo.

“Our primary objective is to establish valuable partnerships that will drive growth and contribute to the success of business travel. At our exhibition stand, esteemed buyers and delegates will have the opportunity to meet the finest South African product owners and our provinces and engage in a host of exciting activities,” she said.

She said one such activity offers participants a chance to win up to US$$10 000 in digital advertising support from South African Tourism.

“Our presence at this event underscores our commitment to promoting the South African tourism industry and fostering mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholders. We are confident that our participation will provide an excellent platform for networking and knowledge sharing, as well as an opportunity to showcase the very best of what South Africa has to offer,” she added.

In an interview, president of the Tourism Business Council Zimbabwe Mr Vengai Nhau said all operators who are participating are now fully prepared.

“From a buyer’s and exhibitor’s point of view, this edition is going to be one of the most successful because we believe the event has been fully subscribed in terms of numbers of buyers as well as exhibitors,” he said.

Chronicle

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