Buyers arrive for tourism expo | The Herald 13 October 2014 Elita Chikwati
International buyers and journalists have started arriving in Zimbabwe ahead of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo that begins on Thursday.
Buyers from the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, China, France, Italy, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana among others are expected to attend.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority spokesperson, Mr Sugar Chagonda yesterday said the authority was expecting 80 buyers.
“Nineteen foreign buyers are going to participate at this year’s event including airlines and national tourism boards. We also have local companies that include tour operators, hotels and other service enablers also participating.
“This year’ s theme is “Africa Premier Business Exchange”. This is a business to business expo and we want to ensure business people engage better.
“We have redesigned the expo to give more attention to business exchanges that suit the needs of the market and align with the changing needs of the tourism sector,” he said.
Mr Chagonda said buyers have been booking for business meetings online and most of them would have pre-match meetings.
“We also have international media and we expect 15 journalists to attend the expo so that they can appreciate the expo and Zimbabwe as a whole.
“The expo is bringing the whole of Africa together and we want to showcase Africa as a destination. The international media should appreciate the situation in the country,” he said.
ZTA will take buyers and the media practitioners around the country on familiarisation tours so they can report and see things from an informed point of view.
Mr Chagonda said ZTA was excited with the high level of preparedness for the event.
“We are looking forward to the premier event and everyone is excited,’ he said.
Speaking at the airport upon arrival yesterday, Nigerian tourism buyer, Mr Victor Enwezor, said he was looking forward to conducting business with Zimbabwe and other African countries. He said the event had brought Africa together and it created the opportunity for the nations to come together and share experiences and knowledge.
“We want to look at what business opportunities we can get from tourism, looking at Nigerian and Zimbabwean hotels, conference centres and tour operators.
“We want to see how we can make collaborations. It is time for Africans to collaborate amongst themselves as far as tourism is concerned and great opportunities for a value chain to be added to whatever business we are doing,” he said.
Sanganai Hlanganani will create a platform for players in the tourism sector to network, engage and discuss business and establish strategic partnerships.