THE annual tourism fair — Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo — kicks off in Bulawayo today where the country’s rich heritage and hospitality will be showcased to local and international buyers.
The expo will run from October 12 to 14 at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre and is expected to ride on the successes gained by the previous editions.
Last year’s edition was a full physical event after two previous editions were held virtually with limited participants due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The event provides excellent opportunities for brand exposition to both exhibiting, partnering and sponsoring companies.
Past editions of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo were a resounding success and attracted leading African destinations and major world tourism markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Malaysia, India, Italy, United Kingdom, US and China.
The annual event organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (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.
In a statement, ZTA said this year’s expo celebrates the resilience, dynamism and untapped potential of Zimbabwe as a premier tourism destination.
ZTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka said this year’s event will beam the light on tourism and place the entire travel and tourism industry on centre stage.
Ms Winnie Muchanyuka
“We look forward to showcasing the beauty, heritage and hospitality of our country as well as promote Zimbabwe as an irresistible destination for travellers looking to experience authentic African tourism,” she said.
Ms Muchanyuka said an array of engaging and interactive activities have been lined up.
“An exciting array of activities awaits participants. These will include business-to-business meetings for industry players and buyers. A tourism investment forum will be held to showcase opportunities that are available to potential tourism sector investors.
“The aviation sector will also converge to talk about various issues affecting the sector. A career guidance session will be held for the upcoming tourism leaders. Buyers will take up the usual destination site visits in the different locations across the destination to get an understanding of the country’s incredible tourist attractions,” she said.
Ms Muchanyuka urged the sector’s new players to take advantage of the expo to exhibit and showcase their businesses.
“We are encouraging the upcoming tourism players who have difficulties in accessing the market to come and register as exhibitors and be able to use this platform to market their facilities to the broader tourism family and more so to the visiting international buyers,” said Ms Muchanyuka.
The Zimbabwean tourism industry has undergone notable development and transformation in recent years, spurred by sustainable initiatives, improved infrastructure and strategic partnerships.
The expo serves as a powerful platform to further reinforce these achievements and position Zimbabwe as a leading destination for tourists from across the globe.
Tremendous strides towards the implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, which seeks to grow the tourism economy to US$5 billion by 2025, have been made.
Image taken from Shutterstock
President Mnangagwa in August 2020 launched the tourism growth plan as he led the restart of the sector’s contribution to the national economy after having been heavily crippled by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy is anchored on Zimbabwe’s vision to be a prime international tourist destination based on the judicious and sustainable exploitation of the unique assets of nature, culture, heritage and the built environment as espoused in National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The strategy is informed by the Government’s Vision 2030 to become an upper-middle-income economy characterised by increased investment, decent jobs and a population free from poverty, hunger and corruption.