THE 10th edition of Hlanganani/Sanganai World Tourism Expo roars to life today, with 350 companies having registered to participate, organisers of the event have revealed.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The expo, running to Sunday in Bulawayo, is the country’s premier travel and tourism showcase that is now officially recognised on the world tourism calendar and has been successfully hosted annually for the past decade.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of corporate affairs, Sugar Chagonda yesterday said all has is set for the world expo.
“In terms of the update now, we are sitting at 350 registered exhibitors and of these 350 exhibitors, 29 are foreign companies from about 11 countries. These countries include Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Namibia and Egypt, among other countries,” he said.
“Of course, our exhibitors are mainly in the categories of accommodation, tour operators, parastatals, tertiary institutions, restaurants, car hire and transport operators as well as publicity associations and rural councils. Of course including airlines and some non-governmental organisations,” he said.
Chagonda said 224 buyers were already in the country and were undertaking pre-Sanganai familarisation tours around the country.
“As we speak, some are in Victoria Falls, some in Hwange, some in Kariba and others are in Eastern Highlands. Tomorrow (today) they will be converging in Bulawayo and then after the expo they will undertake post Sanganai tours, in areas they had not visited,” he said.
Chagonda said between tomorrow and on Saturday, buyers will be coming to Bulawayo, where they will have meetings with exhibitors.
The official opening will be on Friday by Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa.
Last year, 236 exhibitors participated compared to 350 participated this year, a growth of about 48%. In terms of buyers, last year 120 participated compared to 224 this year.
Bulawayo exhibitors also increased from 95 to 150 this year.
“So that is actually an increase in terms of both the numbers of exhibitors as well as the numbers of buyers, which is a clear sign that Sanganai is growing, mainly on the basis of the confidence that exhibitors have as well as the confidence that the buyers have on Zimbabwean product. They know if we are to package Zimbabwe, definitely, that will mean good business for them,” Chagonda said.