SEVERAL buyers from South Korea who are coming for the 12th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo say they are interested in exploring the country’s tourism products during the pre-expo tours so that they can be able to sell them to the Asian market.
Zimbabwe is looking at increasing the number of international arrivals especially from lucrative markets such as Asia which has been a leading contributor of outbound tourists around the world.
In line with that bid, Zimbabwe has employed various marketing strategies that include opening marketing offices, taking part in travel fairs as well as conducting roadshows among many others.
The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry together with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) are also expecting to use Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo to further the destination marketing efforts.
And this has seen some of the buyers engaging in pre-tours and post-tours of the country’s attractive sites and facilities such as Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park and Cheng Shipak a tour operator from South Korea said they are excited about the pre-tours as they give them an opportunity to sample the products which want to sell.
“We are attending Sanganai/Hlanganani as buyers and looking forward to meeting the rest of the world at this tourism exchange.
“We want to enhance our knowledge and experience about the destination we have since booked to take part in a pre-tour that covers the Mighty Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Bulawayo and Harare,” he said.
According to Shipak, they want to collaborate with tour operators from Zimbabwe and South Africa in their bid to bring Asian tourist.
Zimbabwe is currently working with Touchroad International Holdings from China in a deal that brings about 350 tourists to the country every month.
Meanwhile, local tour operators are hopeful of registering the brisk business at Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo which is scheduled for the 12th to the 14th of September at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo.
“We’re very ready as tourism industry and we’re expecting to meet up with a lot of buyers who will bring Zimbabwe as a destination back on the map,” said Barbara Murasiranwa a tour operator based in Victoria Falls.
Murasiranwa added that there are going to conduct some familiarization tours for buyers showing them hotels and activities which will make them book to stay in Zimbabwe for than one day.
In terms of updates, ZTA head corporate affairs, Godfrey Koti said over 250 exhibitors have so far registered for the expo which also sees about 20 countries participating and some of these countries include India, China, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.
Koti added that they are using Sanganai/Hlanganani to promote Zimbabwe as a suitable destination for Meetings, Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) business.
“We are promoting Zimbabwe as a MICE-destination where people come and converge. They must also take this opportunity to do business and we want to use this event to further promote that idea, especially with the fact that this exposition is registered under the United Nations World Tourism Organisation calendar,” he said.-