PREPARATIONS for the 10th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani – World Tourism Expo 2017 have gone a notch higher, with all the designated exhibition space now fully booked while 340 exhibitors have confirmed participation, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said yesterday.
Sanganai is scheduled for Bulawayo at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds from September 27 to October 1. “We have on record 340 exhibitors, 224 international buyers and 24 international media that have confirmed their participation.
“The 10th edition will see the introduction of speed dating sessions earmarked at enhancing interaction between international buyers and exhibitors,” Mr Kaseke told journalists yesterday. The 340 exhibitors that have registered, are 104 more than those that participated in the fair last year.
This represents a 44 percent rise in exhibitor numbers. Bulawayo, the hosts, contribute 150 exhibitors to this year’s Sanganai compared to 95 who participated in last year’s edition. Mr Kaseke said there is a significant surge in the number of first time participants, rising from 54 last year to 85 this year.
“All the space (6287 square metres) has been taken. Sanganai is now fully subscribed, however, we continue to wait-list those who are interested in case we have some last minute drop outs,” he said.
Hall 5 is expected to house small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that want to showcase their products while the main exhibition is expected to occupy Halls 3, 4 and 5. Last year, Sanganai exhibitors took up 5372 square metres.
Foreign participation has also increased this year, with 22 exhibitors from 11 countries confirming their coming, compared to eight countries that came last year, represented by 30 individual companies.
The Hospitality Association of Botswana, which is participating for the first time, is expected to have 10 operators. The Ghana Tourism Board is also participating for the first time while the South Africa Tourism Board returns after over a decade of absence at the show. A Health Expo is expected to run concurrently with the tourism fair, with the aim of increasing health awareness to the public that will attend Sanganai.