ZIMBABWETourism Authority (ZTA) has opened registration for the 12th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo scheduled to run from the 12th to 14th of September in Bulawayo.
Sanganai/Hlanganani is currently the biggest tourism expo in the country and also attracts a huge number of exhibitors and buyers from outside the country and comes at a time when the country has received various international tourism awards and recognition.
Addressing the media, ZTA acting chief executive Rita Likukuma said they are expecting to receive more exhibitors this year owing to the positive response the country is getting internationally and that exhibitors should book early to avoid disappointments.
“Registration has opened and exhibition space will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. We urge exhibitors to book early to avoid last minute disappointments.
“The 2018 edition registered 318 exhibitors and we envisage surpassing this given the interest that has come through from first time exhibitors. We want the 2019 edition to be bigger and better,” she said.
Likukuma added that this year they will be strict in terms of screening the hosted buyers to ensure the country brings quality buyers who will in turn bring business to the industry.
“The 2019 edition will host over 100 international buyers from the various source markets. The screening criteria for international buyers will be strict as our focus is to host buyers who are serious about bringing business to Zimbabwe and who also have potential to invest in the tourism industry.
“The speed networking sessions that were introduced two editions back have yielded great benefits for participants who have utilised this forum to introduce their products and services to international buyers.
“Speed networking will take place on the 12thand the 13th of September which also marks the business days of the expo,” she said.
Tourism has been identified as one of the country’s major pillars in efforts to revive the economy alongside agriculture and mining.
ZTA has budgeted $800 000 for the hosting of the expo and is also expecting the industry play a role in hosting of buyers and taking up of exhibition space.
The 2019 edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani is the 4thedition since the expo was moved to Bulawayo in a bit to revive tourism in the country’s second city.
Likukuma also took the opportunity to call out to tourism operators in the country to take advantage of the expo and meet with international buyers.
“I am appealing to every operator throughout the country to come out and take advantage of the fair. No operator is small in tourism as everyone has a market to serve. We want everyone to be present. It is my wish to also have tourism operators and suppliers from small and medium enterprises.
“In order to give every operator an opportunity to meet with international buyers at Sanganai/Hlanganani we will be offering 10 percent discount to exhibitors who register at the ZTA stand during ZITF,” she said.