Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says it expects a 20 percent increase of local exhibitors and international buyers at this year’s edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.
Addressing members of the media at a local hotel, Tuesday, National Convention Bureau Acting Executive Director Pauline Ndlovu said preparations are underway and since the Expo was moved to Bulawayo there has been a significant growth in the number of partakers.
The Expo, now its 12th edition will be held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Center from September 12 to 14, 2019.
“We have seen a growth in terms of exhibition. In 2016 we had 236, 2017 we had 310 and in 2018 we went up to 318,” remarked Ndlovu.
“For this year we are targeting to have a 20 percent increase,” she said.
Ndlovu said a number of Bulawayo exhibitors have taken up the challenge to partake in the Expo and they hope this year there will be more.
“In terms of the composition of exhibitors, in 2016 we had 58 exhibitors from Bulawayo, in 2017 we had 68 in 2018 the number dropped to 53 but we hope the figure will shoot up again this year,” said Ndlovu.
She commended the tremendous support they have received from the tourism industry.
“As ZTA we have sat down with various stakeholders to rectify a number of issues that came up last year hence we anticipate to have a successful 2019 edition,” she said.
ZTA acting Chief Executive Officer Rita Likukuma emphasised that the expo deserves to be pitched at the international level that it is at.
“The Sanganai/Hlanganani International Expo needs to be pitched at a level at which it is, it’s as international as any other international travel expo. It is not just a Bulawayo or Zimbabwe event but an international event. We have to market it as much as we can,” said Likukuma.
Likukuma said last year the Expo hosted 71 international buyers and this year they look forward to hosting more.
“As much as we had a very successful ZITF where we there was an overflow of takers, we expect to have the same for our Expo. If not in terms of numbers then at least it be in terms of quality so that we may up the amount of business we generate from this platform,” she said.
Likukuma urged members of the media to publicise the Expo as much as they can.
“It does not matter how much good work we do but if you guys do not come aboard nobody will know the good work that is being done in Zimbabwe,” she said.