GOVERNMENT will expedite the introduction of rebates and incentives for the tourism and hospitality industry to enhance the performance of the sector in creating new products and revitalise existing ones, a Cabinet Minister has said. Officially opening the 6th Edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel and Tourism Africa Fare in Harare last night, Senior Minister of State Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo said Government would also recapitalise and adequately fund all sectors that enhance tourism.
“As recognition of the importance of this event in the promotion of tourism, Government declared Sanganai/Hlanganani a national event and as such will ensure that it is adequately funded.
“Funding commensurate with these expectations will be availed. The introduction of tourism industry incentives and rebates will be expedited to enhance the performance of the sector to create new products and renew existing ones.”
Tourism, he said, was highly dependant on other enablers, hence Government would work on recapitalising all sectors of the economy that impact on tourism to unlock value out of the sector.
“To this end, Government will holistically review the visa regimes as well as make sure that our national airline is profitably kept in the skies permanently while at the same time opening skies to other players,’’ Minister Khaya-Moyo said.
He said Government wanted to increase tourist arrivals through collaborative marketing with neighbouring countries in the Sadc region.
“It is Government’s desire to increase regional tourism co-operation through joint marketing programmes with other countries in Sadc to boost tourist arrivals into Zimbabwe in light of long haul tourists’ preferences of multi-destination packages,” he said.
“Given all this Government support and commitment I would like to challenge Team Tourism to up its game in destination marketing and fully exert all its energies on ensuring re-invigorated life into the sector.’’
Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fare is an annual international tourism trade fare organised by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to showcase Zimbabwe’s tourism offerings to world acclaimed tourist wholesalers, governments, tourism boards and investors.
Being the biggest tourism exposition in Southern Africa, outside the Indaba of South Africa, Sanganai/Hlanganani showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world. This is precisely the reason why it is known as the place “Where the World Meets Africa”.
At least 1 441 exhibitors and 208 international buyers had confirmed their participation, with some of them having already arrived. The main event was the business conference in which key speakers were Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Engineer Walter Mzembi, Rainbow Tourism Group chief executive Tendai Madzivanyika and Zimbabwe International Trade Fair president Mr Daniel Chigaru, among others.
The fare is a successor of Shanyai/Vakatshani, the Zimbabwe International Travel Expo (Zite) that was held annually at the Harare International Conference Centre.
Zite started as a small expo in 1982 and grew over the years to become one of Africa’s leading tourism showcases by 2007.
The past four editions of Sanganai/Hlanganani were a resounding success and attracted the leading African destinations and major world tourism markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Malaysia, China, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Indonesia, Italy and many others.
The editions have seen the whole world converge on Zimbabwe in the form of high calibre international buyers as well as exhibitors, hence achieving its main purpose of bringing the world to Africa, “Where the world meets Africa”.
The 2013 edition will be held in Harare under the theme, “Celebrating Africa’s Tourism Diversity “and is expected to ride on the successes gained by the previous editions and the UNWTO General Assembly held in Victoria Falls in August and is, therefore, an opportunity not to be missed.