THE 11th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Expo is expected to further boost tourist arrivals in the country.
The expo is scheduled to take place from September 5 to 8 in Bulawayo at the ZITF Grounds.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke said it is prudent for the country to leverage on the world-class tourism expo.
“This is one of our biggest tourism events in the country and it is coming at the right time as we are currently witnessing a tourism boom inspired by the new political dispensation,” said Dr Kaseke.
“We need to capitalise on this event with the major thrust being that of regaining the lost market share and increasing tourism traffic to Zimbabwe.”
At least 240 international buyers and 15 media across markets will be gracing this year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani.
According to Dr Kaseke, figures for arrivals have more than doubled since November 2017 with most hotels occupied to capacity. This development, he said, was going to be buttressed by tourism events like Sanganai/Hlanganani that seek to market the destination to different buyers.
The buyers will engage in business exchanges and networking under one roof during the two-day trade days.
Also, the international buyers and media will also get the opportunity to sample and appreciate various tourism products in the country.
Some of the buyers from Europe that have already arrived ahead of the tourism expo toured Mana Pools last week.
They are also expected to tour Victoria Falls, Hwange, Eastern Highlands, Kariba, and Masvingo, among other tourism destinations.
“International buyers have started arriving. Six international buyers arrived yesterday (last Monday) from France, Belgium, Italy and Russia. They visited Mana Pools and will proceed to Victoria Falls and other places around the country in order to experience the destinations and be able to create attractive packages when they go back to their source markets,” said Dr Kaseke.
“The increase in the number of buyers gracing Sanganai/Hlanganani is a clear sign of the confidence that the international market has on destination Zimbabwe.
‘‘Over 65 buyers from the Europe and Americas’ market will attend the Fair with the highest number coming from UK, Spain and Portugal,” he added.
To date, 300 companies and 23 countries have registered for participation. Some of the major highlights at this year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani include the late Dr Joshua Nkomo Tourism Heritage Trails on September 5 at the Bulawayo City Hall, African Tourism Ministers Round Table and Women in Tourism conference on September 8.
“We are going to provide narratives that will be used to develop and promote the late hero, Father Zimbabwe, through the Dr Joshua Nkomo’s Tourism Heritage Trails.
‘‘Tourism Heritage Trails entail the crafting of routes that tourists can undertake if they want to understand the history behind an iconic figure of any heritage,” said Dr Kaseke.
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