Over 135 exhibitors expected at Sanganai

HARARE - More than 135 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Zimbabwe Premier Tourism Travel Exhibition, Sanganai/Hlanganani, as the country continues to bask in the glory of the recent United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly.

Sugar Chagonda, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) spokesperson, said about 137 exhibitors have confirmed their participation.

“We also have 18 foreign exhibitors from the country’s traditional source markets such as the United Kingdom, China, Germany, South Africa and Indonesia who have also expressed interest to come and showcase their products,”  he said.

Chagonda noted that the sixth edition of Sanganai — which will be held from October 10 to 12 at the Harare International Conference Centre — is taking a business thrust as a way of encouraging interaction within the tourism industry.

“We are hoping to maximise on the successful hosting of the UNWTO general assembly that Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosted in Victoria Falls and Livingstone. The event presented the country’s tourism sector with an opportunity to attract leading regional and international tourism players,” he said.

The last four editions of Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Fair were a resounding success as leading regional and international exhibitors and buyers converged in Zimbabwe to promote growth and development of the sector.

Last year’s edition of the tourism fair attracted 85 foreign buyers and more than 1 000 exhibitors.

Zimbabwe is the second largest tourism destination in southern Africa behind South Africa and continues efforts to develop new methods of improving the sector.

The southern African nation’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 Japan, the United States of America (USA), Germany and Britain among other countries, in response to a political and economic crisis as well as worsening international relations.

According to a report released last week by ZTA, Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals in the first half increased by 12 percent to 859 995 spurred by growth in regional trade and commerce through transiting business visitors.

The study revealed that the market share for the overseas arrivals into Zimbabwe stood at 13 percent compared to the market share for African arrivals, at 87 percent.

“The combined arrivals from all overseas markets rose by 20 percent this year compared to last year, on the backdrop of exceptional increases from Europe (26 percent) and Asia (60 percent) with UK, France and China specifically registering outstanding performances,” said ZTA.

In the six months to June, mainland Africa saw a 11 percent increase in arrivals having risen from 675 727 in 2012 to 749 301, with South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia contributing over 70 percent of all arrivals from this region.

The Americas declined by three percent, having fallen from 24 462 in 2012 to 23 764 on the background of a six percent decline in USA arrivals.

Asia exhibited a sterling performance having recorded a 60 percent growth in arrivals into Zimbabwe.

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