Judith Phiri, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has announced that the 14th edition of the Sanganai/ Hlanganani World Tourism Expo 2021 will be held from 16 to 18 September.
The domestic tourism initiative feeds into the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, launched in August last year by President Mnangagwa, challenging the sector to achieve a US$5 billion Tourism Economy by year 2025. In an interview, ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Godfrey Koti said they were not in a position to state whether this year’s edition will have physical attendance or it will adopt the hybrid model. Last year the expo was held virtually.
“This year the 14th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo will be held from 16 to 18 September 2021, we are not in a position to state whether there will be physical attendance or not. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it will depend with the conditions that will be prevailing at that time whether we will opt for a combined virtual and physical attendance expo,” said Mr Koti.
He said the organisation was working on collaborative efforts and encouraging global vaccination and was in support of the vaccine passports to ensure that international buyers could attend the expo. Vaccine passports are digital documentation showing that passengers have been vaccinated or tested for the coronavirus.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is promoting its Travel Pass initiative — an app-based system that, it claims, offers high security and privacy as well as global acceptability.
IATA Travel Pass is a digital platform to help passengers easily and securely verify that they comply with Covid-19 test or vaccine travel requirements, in turn giving governments the confidence to reopen borders.
“By May we will then be in a better position to state the cost model on how we are going to charge exhibitors and attendees of the expo. If we are going to use the hybrid model of both virtual and physical, we will then state the costs accordingly.”
The Sanganai/ Hlanganani World Tourism Expo is an annual Tourism Trade Fair organised by the ZTA. It showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world.
The past 12 editions of Sanganai/ Hlanganani were a resounding success and attracted the leading African destinations and major world tourism markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Malaysia, China, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Indonesia, India and Italy.
Last year the expo was hosted virtually from 22 to 23 October 2020 allowing local tourism industry professionals and international travel buyers to interact on the virtual platform without the need to worry about physical barriers. Exhibitors had the opportunity to conduct live face to face video meetings with buyers using the pre-scheduled application, upload video content and documents and participate at interactive webinar sessions.
Sanganai/ Hlanganani World Tourism Expo is Zimbabwe’s signature event for tourism players which continues to provide stakeholders with business opportunities from international source markets.