MICE BUSINESS FORUM (10 OCTOBER 2013)
Zimbabwe set to host the first ever MICE Tourism Symposium during Sanganai/Hlanganani
As preparations for the country’s premier tourism and travel exposition, Sanganai/Hlanganani 2013 gather momentum, Zimbabwe is set to host a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) forum on Thursday 10 October 2013. Building on the recent successful co-hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly in August 2013 and many other varied conferences, Zimbabwe has the potential to become a preferred destination for MICE tourism business in Africa and beyond.
The day-long programme to be held at the HICC, Rainbow Towers Hotel is aimed at exploring various opportunities and benefits presented by MICE tourism, particularly in Zimbabwe as well as Africa in general. The forum will work towards putting together a well-rounded chapter that will advance the development, positioning and promotion of Zimbabwe as a MICE destination.
The forum will also engender a healthy and open discussion on ways of enhancing Zimbabwe’s capacity and capability in driving this type of tourism business. Thus, the platform will bring together a panel of global and local experts, tourism players and other relevant stakeholders to share knowledge and experiences on the issues of MICE tourism business.
Speakers to highlight the forum include the Chief Executive of Gaining Edge, Gary Grimmer, an international MICE consultant who has worked with leading MICE destinations such as Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Berlin, Cape Town, Dubai, Singapore, Melbourne, Vancouver, couston and San Juan. He also was the lead consultant on the development of a national convention and events strategy for South Africa. Also, on the panel is Dary Keywood, the former President of the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives, an international body of MICE experts.
Zimbabwe’s own leaders in the MICE sector to be on the panel include, Glen Byrom - The former owner of Green Route and the current Chief Explorer at Twiice, Daniel Chigaru – the Vice Chairperson of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company (former ZITF General Manager), and the ZCT President, Glen Stutchbury, among others.
Speaking on the hosting of the MICE Business forum, the ZTA Chief Executive, Mr. Karikoga Kaseke expressed confidence on Zimbabwe’s potential in driving MICE tourism business which will in turn posit immense benefits to the country.
‘ I have no doubt that developing MICE tourism would bring benefits, not only to the tourism sector, but also to general trade and the promotion of the image of Zimbabwe,’’ he said.
He also re-iterated that Zimbabwe has almost all necessary elements to strongly develop MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) tourism, ranging from social and political stability, meetings infrastructure, convention centres, resorts that meet international standards as well as an attractive culture and enthusiastic as well as hospitable customer-care services.
MICE tourism is a type of tourism in which large groups usually planned well in advance, are brought together for a particular purpose, be it conferences, meetings, exhibitions, conventions, among others. This has become a major marketing tool and a key driver of destination development, an important generator of income, employment and foreign investment. Beyond economic benefits, the MICE Tourism industry presents opportunities for knowledge sharing, networking, capacity building and regional cooperation. The development of MICE Tourism requires collaboration from the whole nation as MICE activities cut across all sectors of the economy and as such can be created by all.
Meanwhile, registration for the forum is underway at ZTA offices and 31 September has been marked as a deadline.
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