HomeNewsGovt engages investors to build top exhibition facilities

Govt engages investors to build top exhibition facilities

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GOVERNMENT is engaging investors to build conference and exhibition facilities that will meet international standards, Tourism and Hospitality Industry deputy minister Walter Kanhanga has said.

TARISAI MANDIZHA

Speaking at the Sanganai/Hlanganani-World Tourism Expo breakfast meeting in Harare yesterday, Kanhanga said the international tourism showcase – Sanganai/Hlanganani – seeks to position Zimbabwe and also Africa as a region to the international markets and this was in line with the national position of growing Africa, especially Sadc, as a unified bloc.

“Lack of funding has always been a hindrance. However, we will continue lobbying for more funds from the fiscus and other partners to enhance the nation’s position to host exhibitions such as Sanganai/Hlanganani. We can only achieve the outlined objectives if Sanganai is hosted in a more appropriate venue. We are seriously engaging investors who have interest in developing conference and exhibition facilities that will meet international standards,” Kanhanga said.

He added that while international markets are important, there was need to emphasise the importance of growing domestic as well as investing in infrastructure upgrades to ensure there are modern facilities that will make Zimbabwe a preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Mice) tourism destination.

The tourism industry wants to capitalise on Mice business to grow the sector. Mice tourism rakes in three times more receipts than leisure tourism with knock-on effects on local hotels in terms of revenue generation.

Mice business has huge potential to sustain the country’s economy through revenue generation and employment creation while increasing destination awareness.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) last year established the National Convention Bureau to attract more Mice tourism. This year, the country has so far hosted the Sadc summit and two church conferences.

Kanhanga said one of the key success factors of the repositioned Sanganai/Hlanganani was the quality of buyers who will attend the fair.

He, however, said the ministry had engaged government at highest level regarding the country’s presence in source markets through appointment of tourism attachés and public relations agencies.
“I am happy to announce that we are making progress and very soon, we will be deploying committed personnel. The deployment of tourism attachés will go a long way in building rapport with key buyers who we want to target to participate at Sanganai/Hlanganani,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said the re-engineering of the tourism expo was meant to enhance it in its core purpose, in meeting the needs of exhibitors and buyers.

He said the first edition of the repositioned Sanganai/Hlanganani would be held from October 16 to 18 2014 at the Harare International Conference Centre.

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