Sangani/Hlanganani Expo bounces back
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will host the physical edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo in October this year after a two-year stop, which was caused by Covid-19, at a time the industry has shown signs of recovery.
The expo, which has been set for 13 – 15 October 2022, will be held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo. Registration for the event is ongoing with over 150 exhibitors having already registered to participate at Sanganai/Hlanganani expo.
Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, the ZTA chief executive, during a press briefing said participating exhibitors from countries such as Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi have confirmed their participation.
“I am excited to announce that we shall be hosting the physical edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani – World Tourism Expo after a two-year lapse which was caused by Covid-19.
“We are grateful that this comes as the industry is showing signs of recovery as shown by the increase in arrivals from international travel in the first half of 2022,” she said.
She added that the domestic market also continued to show positive growth since the launch of the ZIMBHO Campaign.
“The return of physical meetings and events has not only been celebrated by the tourism industry but by all sectors. This has reignited the growth of the MICE sector and we have witnessed the positive impact of this locally as well,” said Muchanyuka. She noted that both the industry’s supply and demand side were eagerly waiting to reconnect, hence will take advantage of the physical edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani.
According to Ms Muchanyuka, ZTA is optimistic to reach a target of 250 exhibitors.
She said that industry players in Bulawayo should come in their numbers and in support of devolution policy thrust.
“We will make sure that every province is fully represented as we ensure that all our known and hidden gems get to be profiled during the 2022 edition. We therefore have reached out to all provinces inviting them to exhibit at Sanganai and in addition to bring along industry stakeholders from their provinces,” she said.
She added that ZTA also looked forward to having an elaborate Community Based Tourism showcase to ensure that all the tourism value chain is present at Sanganai. Ms Muchanyuka She indicated that a different pricing has been set to make Sanganai accessible by this critical subsegment with a discounted registration fee of $100 per 9sqm space.
“One other feature to look forward to is the Tourism Innovative Hub (innovative tourism related projects). This initiative is aimed at supporting youth and exposing their ideas to the global community,” she said.
She said the ZTA will also be maintaining speed networking – B2B meetings for buyers and exhibitors while another exciting addition will be the SADC Ministers Tourism Roundtable.
“This will bring Tourism Ministers from the SADC region to deliberate on pertinent issues regarding tourism development and growth post covid pandemic,” said Ms Muchanyuka.
She said that the recruitment of buyers was done and concluded early this year in partnership with the tourism industry.
Ms Muchanyuka said over 100 buyers have confirmed their participation with the buyers drawn from key source markets which include Germany, United Kingdom, America, South Africa, Botswana, Australia, India and many others
“Pre and post tours have been put in place which will see buyers visiting most key destinations which include Matobos, Hwange, Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Kariba, Eastern Highlands, Masvingo, Gonarezhou and many others,” she said.
The ZTA boss said the authority continues to receive support from the industry such as Air Zimbabwe and Airport Council of Zimbabwe.
She said that Air Zimbabwe has facilitated tickets for buyers and will be the official carrier for Sanganai while the Airport Council of Zimbabwe will be the platinum partner.
Meanwhile, Ms Muchanyuka while in Bulawayo, attended that Provincial Tourism Innovation Challenge which was won by Daniel Nkuzuwalela of the Bulawayo Province Tourism Innovation Challenge prize with his project Flexie which seeks to democratise travel and enhance tourism in Bulawayo and Zimbabwe at large through virtual reality.
The 1st Runner-Up award went to Kudakwashe Mabaudhi while Mandisa Nyoni was named the 2nd Runner-Up.
Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Honourable Judith Ncube was the Guest of Honour at the event.