More foreign exhibitors for Sanganai/Hlanganani

HARARE - A total of 70 foreign stands have been booked for the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair compared to 26 registered last year, indicating the country’s potential to lure more tourist arrivals despite political and economic challenges.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority acting chief executive officer Givemore Chidzidzi said responses from around the world had been overwhelming as indicated by new foreign and local exhibitors who had registered for the event.

“We have had to increase the exhibition area so as to accommodate all exhibitors. There has been increase in the number of foreign exhibitors as compared to last year which is an indication of growth to the Fair,” said Chidzidzi.

This year’s edition is riding on the successes gained by previous editions,with the past four editions attracting exhibitors from leading African destinations and major world tourism markets such as Botswana, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia and Zambia among others.

The editions have seen the whole world converging in Zimbabwe in the form of high calibre international buyers as well as exhibitors, hence achieving its main purpose of “bringing the world to Africa.”

ZTA confirmed 233 stands had already been booked, translating to 800 exhibitors taking into account sharing exhibitors, with over 150 buyers having been registered.

“Most national tourism organisations (NTOs) from Africa, including Zambia are taking part as Zimbabwe and Africa consolidate collaboration in promoting Africa as a destination,” Chidzidzi said, adding that the fair provided a platform for Africa to showcase its diverse products ahead of the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Zimbabwe’s tourism industry is on a recovery path after a decade-long crisis that triggered dwindling arrivals due to a flurry of travel warnings from key markets like Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States, among other countries.

Following a political pact that gave birth to an inclusive government in 2009, arrivals have started increasing from 1,9 million in 2009 to 2,4 million last year.

The Sanganai/Hlanganani showcases a wide variety of Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world. -
Kudzai Chawafambira

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