By Natalie Chiwomadzi
ALL is set for this year’s SANGANAI/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo, which is famed for connecting local tourism brands with buyers from across the world.
This year’s edition will run from the 12th to the 14th of September at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, ZTA acting Chief Executive Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi said the arrival of buyers in the country marks the beginning of the expo.
“Sanganai/Hlanganani has already started with the arrival of the first batch of international buyers in the country. We are looking at 170 buyers that are coming and 25 international media houses.
“This year about 200 or more exhibitors have registered and we are still counting. Over 20 countries have registered. Botswana will host a large delegation of 15 exhibitors at Sanganai/Hlanganani.
“South Africa is bringing over 3 provinces that will be hosted under one S.A Banner,” he said.
Chidzidzi revealed major highlights of the 12th edition’s Expo will include pre-arranged buyers and exhibitors’ meetings, speed networking, culinary demos, as well as the tourism researchers’ educator’s association workshop.
“As we speak both buyers and sellers will initiate appointments online through a booked appointment in which they are able to maximize on the platform since there are many buyers and sellers who are coming.
“Another highlight is the famed Speed Networking platform where buyers and sellers derive maximum value since they meet and interact face to face under one roof.
“The hosted buyers’ tours will provide ZTA with a win-win situation, whereby the service providers have the opportunity to subsidize products and then get the exposure and the publicity they need.
“Special events like the Tourism Researchers Educators Association workshop will become an annual event and there are also culinary Demos whereby people will experience food and culture. The chefs will be showcasing their culinary skills and their innovations,” said Chidzidzi.
ZTA also revealed that they will host a workshop for Women in Tourism with an agenda of empowering women, these are currently enjoying a 50% discount on exhibition rates at this year’s World Expo.
“We are also going to have Women in Tourism Capacity Building Workshop in line with the UNWTO guidelines. We are happy to say most accommodation facilities in the host city Bulawayo are run by women so we are bringing them together to discuss and share ideas,” he said.