Harare City has over the years dominated domestic tourism, boasting of some of the country’s most amazing natural and man-made features and shows.
This year they will be participating in the Sanganai\Hlanganani World Tourism Expo slated for September 28 to October 1.
NewsDay caught up with the city’s corporate communications manager Michael Chideme who spoke about the city’s participation in the Sanganai Expo and the following are excerpts from this interview:
ND: Just give us the connection that is there between the City of Harare and the Sanganai/Hlanganani world tourism expo:
MC: The link comes in the sense that as Harare City Council, we believe we are tourism because we have all the attributes of a tourist destination that include the hotels, lodges, restaurants, game parks and the wildlife. We have the most beautiful shopping malls in Zimbabwe that can be compared to regional shopping malls and these include Westgate, Sam Levy’s Village, Avondale etc. We also have historical places in Harare when we talk of early nationalism, with houses where early nationalist parties were formed and where the early nationalists stayed. These houses are centres of township tourism. We have copied the model from South Africa in Soweto’s Vilakazi Street and we are in the process of implementing the model in Harare. That makes us very eligible candidates for Sanganai because we have products to market.
ND: This year’s edition, given the fact that it is happening in Bulawayo, do you think as Harare you can benefit?
MC: To us it does not matter where Sanganai is held, even if it happens in Mars, we will go out there and market our city because we need to market it even to the Bulawayo residents so that they come and visit Harare. So, when we go to Sanganai we are telling the world, the region and the nation our potential in tourism.
ND: Going back to past editions of Sanganai, did Harare benefit and in what ways?
MC: We benefited in that we projected brand Harare, the sunshine city supporting our tourism motto that “we are tourism”. Everybody would want to know why we say we are tourism, so we will tell them why we are tourism and we would give them the chronology of what is available in Harare. But most importantly, it is the brand that we have showcased before and we will continue to showcase now.
ND: One interesting aspect that people have raised is Harare’s cultural diversity, tell us more about this.
MC: Harare is a multiplicity of cultures, languages and almost everything. For instance, its cuisine, if you go to other cities, you might not easily find Chinese, Indian or Thai food. You normally just find the local traditional dishes of that city.
So in Harare you have everything because you can decide what food you want and where to go to eat. In Harare we have various cultural activities such as Hifa, the carnival, International film festival and the Agric show.
Mind you, all those activities are internationally recognised and it helps to bring that international aspect of our city, so you can see why we need to market it extensively. We will also be going to other regions and international expos to market brand Harare internationally.
ND: Thank you