Southern African buyers expected to dominate Sanganai tourism expo
By Wallace Mawire
HARARE – Sanganai/Hlanganani world tourism expo is expecting more buyers from the Southern African region to attend the second biggest tourism showcase in Africa later this year.
The expo slated for September, will be held in Bulawayo, said Karikoga Kaseke, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Chief Executive Officer.
Kaseke said that the tourism expo which was nearly cancelled this year due to lack of funding will be going ahead, since the ministry of Finance disbursed enough funds to clear outstanding arrears owed by the authority to service providers.
He said additional funding provided by the ministry will also cover preparations for the tourism fair. He also added that Sanganai/Hlanganani world tourism expo is now the second biggest tourism event in Africa after the Indaba tourism event in South Africa.
“This year, a lot of foreign exhibitors from Southern Africa have confirmed to attend the expo and have shown a lot of interest,” Kaseke said.
He said buyers and exhibitors from South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique have confirmed to attend the expo.
He also added that the expo is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recognized fair.
Also according to Kaseke, other buyers from Africa and beyond have confirmed to attend.
It is reported that the tourism expo will require no less than $3m to be hosted. However, Kaseke could not be drawn to divulge to the media how much the government had provided to host the fair.
Tich Hwingwiri, President of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) has urged government of Zimbabwe and the corporate sector to play their part in supporting the tourism sector for the country’s development.
“As we speak, more than one third of the exhibition space has already been taken by both local and international exhibitors. A number of foreign exhibitors have already registered, notably those representing South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique,” Kaseke said.
He added that these are the buyers who are genuinely interested in doing business with tourism brands from Zimbabwe and Southern Africa in general. He said the buyers are eager to package Zimbabwe and the SADC region as a tourist destination.