By Lucy Tandi
ZIMBABWE’S premier tourism business expo, Sanganai/Hlanganani kicks off today at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds, amid high expectations from local tourism players eager to interact with 170 international buyers gracing this year’s event.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi said the 12thedition of the premier tourism expo attracted 260 exhibitors.
“We are looking at 170 hosted buyers who are coming and 25 international media houses. There are 260 exhibitors and also 20 countries,” he said.
Coined Africa’s premier business exchange, Sanganai/Hlanganani is aimed at promoting Zimbabwe as a Meetings Incentives Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) destination and business hub. The showcase also explores the wonderful touristic attractions of interest to buyers.
Some of the regional and international countries taking part at this prime tourism event include India, China, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.
Tourism has been identified as a key economic pillar in Mthulli Ncube’s Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP).
In her quarterly tourism briefing in May this year, Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) president Winnie Muchanyuka revealed the tourism sector has the potential to contribute up to 50 percent of Zimbabwe’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the long term if given adequate support.
Zimbabwe has abundant natural attractions such as Nyanga National Park, Matopos National Park, Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba, The Great Zimbabwean Ruins and Chinhoyi Caves, which all need to be promoted and established into itineraries and tourism circuits.
In 2018, over 288 exhibitors and 21 countries took part at the Sanganai/Hlanganai expo.
Sanganai/Hlanganani ends on Saturday, which has been opened to the public with no gate charge levied. The expo is expected to attract families and locals to the tourism extravaganza .