THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has received a “substantive amount of money” from the government to fund this year’s Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo and pay all debts incurred in previous editions.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Speaking at a media briefing in Harare yesterday, ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said hosting the expo required not less than $3 million, but given the current operating conditions in the country the expo would require between $1 million to $1,2 million including the contribution from the tourism sector.
The tourism sector last year contributed $470 000 for Sanganai/ Hlanganani Expo.
“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 been resumed. This is despite our previously announced possibility of cancelling the event due to lack of funding,” Kaseke said.
“The new development has been prompted by the commitment made by the government to fund the expo and also to pay all the debts that were incurred during previous edition of Sanganai/ Hlanganani Expo. They have already disbursed the funds to pay all the service providers who supplied goods and services to Sanganai last year.”
Last month, Kaseke said ZTA would not be holding the expo this year citing funding constraints and that the authority was being haunted by debts from the previous edition.
This year’s edition will be held from September 27 to 30 in Bulawayo.
Kaseke said a third of the exhibition space has already been taken by local and international exhibitors, a good sign that the business world continues to see value in the fair.
“A number of foreign exhibitors have already registered, notably those representing South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique,” he said.
Kaseke said more exhibitors, particularly from South Africa were expected to confirm soon as the majority of them have shown a lot of interest in the show.
“We have put in place a well-considered and stringent selection benchmark of buyers’ participation that ensures the premier tourism show attracts only high-profile international buyers. These are buyers who are genuinely interested in doing business with tourism brands from Zimbabwe and South Africa in general. The buyers should be eager to package Zimbabwe and the region as a tourism destination,” he said.