Sanganai/Hlanganani a tourism meeting point

HARARE - Today marks the last day of the fast growing tourism fair, the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair which was running for the past four days.

The fair started on Thursday and is ending today.

This year’s edition was full of major highlights and has seen the number of exhibitors increasing.

There were 257 stands this year, 85 of these exhibitors are foreign compared to 24 registered last year, signifying a definite growth trend for Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair this year.
A total of 95 international buyers and media personnel representing 22 countries from all seven continents of the world attended the fair.

International tourism wholesalers, potential investors and tourists were brought into the country as Zimbabwe tries to regain the confidence of the international tourism scene.

ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said his entity is targeting 200 buyers for next year’s fair with the majority coming from China.

 “We are targeting 200 buyers for next year as we anticipate an increase in tourist arrivals,” said Kaseke.

About 200 non-hosted buyers also participated in the fair, which is recognised on the calendar of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

To add flavour to the tourism fair, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) held a Tourism Night last night.

The gala included the “big five”, top brass of local musicians namely Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Baba naMai Charamba, Sulumani Chimbetu and Mbira Dzenharira.

These artistes revealed the diversity that is in Zimbabwean music and culture with Mbira Dzenharira representing the traditional sector of Zimbabwe, The Charambas, the Christian community, Suluman Chimbetu and Alick Macheso the dendera and sungura lovers, while Mtukudzi the more mature lot of Zimbabweans that favours his katekwe.

ZTA is taking tourism seriously in the country as benefits for this fair’s participants included meeting  and networking (Sanganai) with exhibitors, visiting buyers, investors and suppliers of services to the tourism sector from all over the world.

To add fun to all the business taking place, there was Chef’s Cook off Competition at the fair.

ZTA also launched Sanganai/Hlanganani Township Tourism yesterday.

It also secured local partnership with local mobile operator, Telecel.

The agreement marked the beginning of collaborative engagement that will be for the long-term and aimed at bringing benefits to Zimbabwe through the active promotion of tourism.

According to the terms of agreement, in addition to providing sponsorship funds, Telecel will help publicise the event through bulk SMSs and ZTA will in turn allow the mobile operator to make use of the fair to publicise its products and services.

ZTA’s head of corporate affairs Sugar Chagonda added that the partnership was a strategic one in terms of communicating about the country’s tourism to the rest of the world.

Sanganai’s aim is to establish strategic business partnerships with world tourism players, showcase destinations, products and services and many more.

The Fair was targeting among other exhibitors the following, National Tourism Boards, Embassies, International Airlines, Tourism destinations, Leading Tour Wholesalers, Tour Operators and Travel Agents, Leading Hotel Chains of the world, Car Hire and Transport Operators, Suppliers of goods and services to the tourism industry, Investors and Government ministries.

The Fair is the successor of Shanyai/Vakatshani, the Zimbabwe International Travel Expo (Zite) that was held annually at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Zite started as a small expo in 1982 and grew over the years to become one of Africa’s leading tourism showcases by 2007.

The past four editions of Sanganai/ Hlanganani attracted leading African destinations and major world tourism markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Malaysia, China, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Indonesia, Italy and many 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, “Where the world meets Africa”.

Exhibitors at the Sanganai/Hlanganai World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair.

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