THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority-organised Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair kicks off at the Harare International Conference Centre today.
Report by Melissa Mpofu Staff Reporter
The four-day premier international travel and tourism exposition is running under the theme “Celebrating Africa’s Tourism Diversity” and will close on Sunday. The travel fair will, however, be opened to the public on Saturday.
At least 1 200 exhibitors – up from 746 last year – will take part at this year’s expo. International exhibitors will come from across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Others will be from the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Addressing the Sanganai/Hlanganani travel fair cocktail on Tuesday, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi speaking on behalf of Vice-President Joice Mujuru said the increase of foreign exhibitors had placed the exposition on a higher level in the tourism industry.
“I am reliably informed that this year’s exhibition has witnessed a 26% increase in size and that the total number of exhibition stands rose from 206 in 2011 to 257 in 2012. The number of foreign exhibitors also increased from 24 in 2011 to 85 this year. This is very encouraging indeed and places Sanganai firmly on its position as one of the top-three travel shows on the continent,” Mujuru said. She added that the government supported tourism development in Zimbabwe.
“As Africa, we stand united and tourism is one sector that unifies nations. Your presence in such large numbers at this year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani symbolises the power and influence of tourism in human interaction.
“The strength of tourism as a people-to-people phenomenon that can bring about international understanding cannot be over-emphasised. This is over and above its great potential as an economic sector that can change the fortunes of our countries,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and African Sun chief executive officer Shingi Munyeza will today moderate at the Tourism Business Exchange Forum being held at the Rainbow Towers.