Preparations for the annual Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair have reached an advanced stage with over 900 exhibitors having registered to showcase their products.By the same period last year, at least 1 000 exhibitors had registered. This year’s edition will run from October 10-14.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority organises the annual premier tourism showcase, which this year will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre.ZTA chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke told the media this week that everything was progressing well with over 900 having registered so far.
“As of last night, 911 exhibitors had registered, taking up 171 stands which translates to 3 377 square metres. We still have some vacant space and hope in the next few weeks it would have been taken up.
“At least 23 foreign exhibitors from countries like India, Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa have registered for this year’s edition, translating to 47 foreign exhibitors,” he said. Mr Kaseke said the ZTA anticipated 150 hosted buyers would participate in this year’s event, but was, however, experiencing a low turnout in registrations.
Hosted buyers are buyers whose accommodation the ZTA pays for on a bed and breakfast basis. “A total of 120 hosted buyers will grace the event and we still hope more will confirm. The other 30 buyers cited financial challenges to purchase tickets.
“Without buyers we have no Sanganai, so we are making arrangements to pay for their travel expenses,” he said. Mr Kaseke noted that the bulk of the registered buyers were from the East and assured there was no buyer from the United Kingdom participating.
He said at least US$800 000 has been budgeted for this year’s event. “For the whole of Sanganai/Hlanganani Fair, ZTA has US$750 000 budgeted. Since Sanganai was in 2007 given national event status the ministry is giving us the funds that include hosting, bringing of buyers and hiring of space,” he added.
Mr Kaseke also indicated that the authority had set up pre-arranged meetings between buyers and exhibitors to ensure that maximum benefits are drawn. “We have so far organised pre-arranged meetings with buyers with the aim of coming up with a detailed view of how the expo would be looking like. “Our marketing team is currently out of the country having business meetings with prospective buyers at the same time marketing our destination,” Mr Kaseke said.
This year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani comes hot on the heels of the 20th edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly that Zimbabwe and Zambia co-hosted.
This year’s event runs under the theme “Where the World Meets Africa”. — Business Reporter-New Ziana.