Sanganai-Hlanganani preparations begin

Sanganai-Hlanganani preparations begin
Published: 08 September 2013
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has announced that registration for the 6th edition of the annual Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair has begun with eight countries already having confirmed their participation.

This year's event will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) from October 10 to October 12.

ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Sugar Chagonda said this year's expo is expected to be bigger, capitalising on the success of the recently held United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly that was co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia last month.

Sanganai/Hlanganani is the country's version of South Africa's Durban Indaba or Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) in Germany.

ZTA, through its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) office, last week disclosed that 137 exhibitors from accommodation, tour operators, arts and craft, parastatal as well as Government have been registered.

"Recruitment of buyers as well as registration of exhibitors has already started and is ongoing. This is a good indication with regards to the potential of the event surpassing the figures that were registered last year," said Mr Chagonda.

Some of the countries that have already confirmed participation include Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, with Malawi having already paid participation fees.

Mr Chagonda disclosed that the tourism authority has made use of a number of channels to market this year's event with local officials that took part at this year's edition of the Germany ITB and the Durban Indaba.

He said efforts to market the country as a safe destination are on-going.

"We are looking forward to having a successful event taking into cognisance the fact that it is taking place on the heels of the successful UNWTO general assembly. Our interest and emphasis on destination marketing is perpetual," he said.

"We are already in the action mode for the Sanganai/Hlanganani expo and we have used and will use all platforms that we have to market the event. Our thrust is to promote MICE, not only in Zimbabwe, but the region as a whole," added Mr Chagonda.

For the recruitment of buyers, the ZTA is working with players in the tourism industry, to make sure that quality buyers from traditional source markets are attracted.

However, efforts will also be made to attract buyers from emerging markets. International media are also being courted.

"As per tradition, the international media will be part of proceedings.

"We hope the journalists that are going to be a component of the expo will help improve the continent's perception abroad," said Mr Chagonda.

According to the tourism body, this year's event is meant to consolidate the achievements that have been scored in the past five editions.

The major events that have characterised the expo in the past include the Tourism Business Forum, where local and foreign guest speakers make presentations on different topics pertaining to tourism, exhibitions and the tourism night.

Last year a new concept in the form of township tourism was birthed and sees its second year this year.

Sanganai/Hlanganani is a premier tourism exhibition which offers a platform for stakeholders in the industry to market their services as well as to enter into strategic partnerships.

The world over, exhibitions, conferences and meetings have become big business and the country is on a drive to also attract mega events.

The exhibition expo is registered on the UNWTO calendar of events.

Countries that have attended previous editions of the fair include the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Japan, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Australia and China.
- sundaymail


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