This year’s 11th edition of the Sanganayi/Hlanganani-World Tourism Expo set for Bulawayo will honour the late hero, Dr Joshua Nkomo’s Tourism Heritage trails.
The tourism showcase scheduled to take place from September 5 to 8 will see the streets of Bulawayo being flooded by tourists and buyers as the City of Kings and Queens hosts the world travel exhibition.
“At this year’s Sanganayi/Hlanganani we are going to provide narratives that will be used to develop and promote the late hero, Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo’s Tourism Heritage Trails.
“Tourism Heritage Trails entail the crafting of routes that tourists can undertake if they want to understand the history behind an iconic figure or any heritage.
“We are certain that this product will be a success and will not only profile the region where the late Vice President hailed from but will take tourists across our great nation,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said.
Kaseke added that this year’s addition of the tourism showcase had attracted interest from South Africa, as the stand will house 25 tour operators who are keen on packaging Zimbabwe.
“We continue to receive one of the highest tourist arrivals from South Africa and the growing interest is positively received at our travel expo. Italy will also bring 20 operators.”
At least 300 companies have so far confirmed participation at the country’s premier tourism event to be held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in the City of Kings.
Countries from the Southern Africa Development Community that will participate at the expo includes Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique. Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius and Tanzania. Ghana, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia are other countries from the rest of Africa set to participate at the expo.
The City of Kings will also host countries from Asia and Europe namely Indonesia, United Kingdom, Italy, China, Belgium and France.
Kaseke noted that they were looking forward to hosting more than 240 international buyers and over 15 international media from various source markets.
“To date, Africa and Middle East has confirmed the highest number of buyers to a record of 115. Over 65 buyers from the Europe and America’s market will attend the Fair with the highest number from UK, Spain and Portugal.
“China, Asia and Pacific market has also recorded a notable number of international buyers over 40 with China recording the bulk of the buyers from that market.
He added that international buyers had already started arriving and will be touring the country’s destinations like Mana Pools and Victoria Falls.
“Top tourism influencer, decision making and Germany tour operators have already arrived and have left for Mana Pools to experience our products.
“Six international buyers arrived on Tuesday and left for Mana Pools. They will proceed to Victoria Falls in order to experience the destinations and be able to create attractive packages when they go back to their source markets.”
Sanganai/Hlanganani-World Tourism Expo is an annual Tourism Trade Fair organized by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world.
Recently lauded as a great reformer in the tourism circles, Kaseke has silenced his erstwhile critics my making Zimbabwe a gem of a destination with celebrated travel expos as well as turning around an industry which had been terribly whacked in recent times.
“The event will also have a comprehensive local and international media programme to market the nation through media practitioners both from Zimbabwe and the rest of the world,” said local media hand for the ZTA, Hazel Zisanhi.