ZIMBABWEANtourism operators attending the Meetings Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa have expressed their satisfaction with the event and the level of business interactions realised.
Meetings Africa 2019 which started on the 25th of February has about 338 exhibiting participants drawn from the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector.
The business tourism sector is characterised by high spenders and large groups ranging from 100 – 3000 participants and according to the International Congress and Convention Association, conferencing accounts for direct spend of US$1.03 trillion worldwide and draws in 4 billion participants from 180 countries.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Joy Mataruka from Mana Resorts who are part of the Zimbabwean delegation said Meetings Africa was beneficial, well organised and offered many business opportunities.
“Business opportunities and networking day which was on the first day was amazing. The topics presented were really beneficial and I felt they addressed pertinent issues and needs that were relevant to entrepreneurs. It was well organised and the presenters conducted themselves very well.
“So far we have had great responses and all the appointments are being filled. It is a great networking platform and we are also using this as a way of updating our database especially from a business perspective,” Mataruka said.
Esnath Mboma from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) who is also attending the fair concurred with Mataruka’s sentiments adding that “the first day also known as the BONDay (Business Opportunity and Networking Day) started on a positive note with key associations in the MICE industry hosting their members to education and networking sessions aimed at enhancing professional development in the sector and industry.
She said “fruitful discussions were held on how the continent can grow and claim its share of the global receipts of business tourism”.
Acting ZTA chief executive Rita Likukuma said time has come for the country to unlock its MICE potential for the benefit of the economy, adding that Zimbabwe should also embrace the role of intra-regional cooperation in the advancement of MICE Tourism in the destination.