By Daniel Chigundu
ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke says Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo is going to stay longer in Bulawayo until it has helped revive tourism economy in the city.
Sanganai/Hlanganani was moved from Harare to Bulawayo starting from 2016 with the initial aim of spreading activities around the country before it was turned to help revive the tourism sector in Bulawayo.
The tourism economy in Bulawayo took a knock from massive deindustrialisation that has was experienced in the country which saw most large corporates moving their headquarters to Harare while others chose to close shop instead.
Addressing a press conference Dr Kaseke said they are using the premier world tourism expo to help revive Bulawayo’s tourism economy.
“We are trying to revive the economy of this part of our country and of this region, we were cognisant of the fact that the tourism economy of this region Bulawayo and its environs were not doing so well in actual fact, to be honest, the tourism sector in this region was performing badly.
“This is our 3rd edition here and we have seen something happening, but you can ask the operators whether Sanganai/Hlanganani is doing its intended purposes, but we are still here with the same theme and it more likely that Sanganai/Hlanganani is going to remain in Bulawayo for some time.
“You are going to be fed up with Sanganai/Hlanganani so as far as I am concerned we are still here until we are very much satisfied that the tourism economy of Bulawayo is equal to that of victoria falls,” he said.
Dr Kaseke added that Sanganai/Hlanganani is a gathering of serious people, it’s a meeting but not an ordinary meeting and that it is a very purposeful meeting and has high hopes on the effects of the expo.
According to the ZTA boss, the Bulawayo’s tourism economy used to be very vibrant but was destroyed courtesy of the past 20 years that the country went through.
He said while many cities were affected by the economic hardships, it is Bulawayo that was affected the most and requires special attention
“So we want to restore tourism legacy, we need to restore legacy in Bulawayo, Bulawayo is the industrial capital of this country and we must make sure that every sector of the industry including tourism is functioning.
“Other cities were not affected to the extent or the same level as this city and region and like I said we will not leave Bulawayo until Sanganai/Hlanganani has delivered the expected deliverables of reviving the economy of this city,” he said.