Tourism players eager for Sanganayi/Hlanganani

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Bulawayo (New Ziana) -Prospects of meeting again physically at the upcoming Sanganayi/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo after two years due to Covid-19 has brought excitement among industry players, an official has said.

ZTA chief executive officer Winnie Muchanyuka said they were expecting 250 exhibitors at the Expo penciled for October 13 to 15, with 150 having registered so far.

“We are very excited that we are meeting physically. The last time we met physically was in 2019 and the Covid 19 pandemic did set in, and we were not able to meet,” she said.

“What is more exciting is that domestic tourism has kept the industry afloat as we wait for international travelers to come back.”

Muchanyuka said said the local tourism industry was able to remain afloat during the Covid 19 period riding on meetings, conferences and events.

She said foreign exhibitors were coming from Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Zambia.

“We are happy that our neighbors in the region are supporting us, and we are also calling tourism players in the city to come and exhibit as this is an opportunity to market the city. The 2022 edition we are looking forward for exhibitors from areas around the city such as Lupane and Gweru.

“On International buyers and media, we are oversubscribed, and we are now closed. The industry has also assisted in hosting the international buyers so that they see what we have to offer. They will be hosted tours that they would embark on,” she said.

Muchanyuka said the international buyers would come from Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and India.

“Our key destinations will be Matopo, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Kariba, Eastern Highlands, Masvingo, Gonarezhou amongst others. The industry has come on board to assist us to host international buyers.

ZTA head of corporate affairs, Godfrey Koti said they were optimistic that the Expo would attract tourists last recorded before the Covid-19 era and retain the previous financial gains.

“We hope we will go back to pre-Covid levels as far as financial and tourists’ receipts. We want to go back to 2,3 million visitors and hopefully make $1,5 billion we used to make before Covid-19,” he said, adding that the country received 600 000 visitors in 2021.

“In 2020 our quantified loss was around a billion dollars in terms of financial receipts. We only made $359 million during that period and that also opened a little bit, so the total loss was about $1,3 billion between two years in terms of revenue expected.”

The Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo is an annual event which the ZTA organises to promote the tourism industry through showcasing the various tourist attractions and the country’s world class tourism infrastructure.

It attracts exhibitors, buyers, investors and media persons from the local, regional and international markets.

New Ziana

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