ZIMBABWE TOURISM AUTHORITY CONFIRMS SANGANAI’S NEW DATES
(Posted 20th April 2017)
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Karikoga Kaseke has earlier in the week confirmed that while the initial dates in June to hold the annual Sanganai World Tourism Expo had to be shifted, will Zimbabwe’s premier tourism trade fair definitely take place in Bulawayo – Zimbabwe’s second largest city – from the 27th to the 30th of September.
Said Mr. Kaseke when making the announcement: ‘The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to inform its esteemed tourism partners, stakeholders and the nation at large, that Sanganai/Hlanganani – World Tourism Expo 2017 preparations have resumed. This is despite our previously announced possibility of cancelling the event due to lack of funding. In a meeting held between the ZTA and the Ministry of Finance on the 11th of April 2017, officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development did not only commit to fund Sanganai 2017 but they have already disbursed funds for us to pay all the service providers who supplied goods and services to Sanganai last year but were still being owed by the ZTA‘.
Kaseke then went on to confirm that over a third of the floor space and available stands have already been booked by local and foreign exhibitors, which this year include such notable names as South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique. Other countries, including from Eastern Africa, are also expected to sign up for the trade fair now that the dates have been newly set and Sanganai 2017 been definitely confirmed as taking place.
Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) president Mr. Tich Hwingwiri was quoted as having stated that the expo was an essential component of the country’s overall marketing strategy and the possibility of its cancellation had been a major concern for all travel and tourism operators in the country and left exhibitors unsettled. He went on to say: ‘Over the years, the entire sector has rallied behind the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) at this event and it is essential for this year’s expo to take place as scheduled, and for maximum effort to be made to bring in valuable and worthwhile tourism buyers from across the world‘.
The confirmation of Sanganai will now definitely bring focus back to Zimbabwe. ZTA was absent from the 2017 edition of the Africa Travel Week in Cape Town where on subsequent days, from yesterday until Sunday, the World Travel Market Africa, IBTM Africa and ILTM Africa are taking place.
ZTA’s absence was probably due to the delayed release of funding for marketing purposes but the tour operator association ZTOA did have a desk at WTM Africa actively promoting the country.
In contrast was Zimbabwe’s neighbour Zambia represented with a large delegation on an official stand and recorded heavy traffic and keen interest, hopefully also extending across the border to Zimbabwe’s tourism attractions.