By Norma Tsopo
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has lauded its speed networking platform during the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo for yielding great benefits.
ZTA CEO Rita Likukuma said at a press conference to announce dates for this year’s edition to be held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) from the 12th to the 14th of September that the innovative platform which was introduced two years ago would run on September 12 and 13 which are also the business days.
“This has worked greatly for Exhibitors who have utilised this forum to introduce their product and service offings to international buyers. Speed networking will take place on 12 and 13 September 2019 which also marks the business days of the expo” she said.
Likukuma who said they will be strict with which international buyers to admit in this year’s edition.
“The screening criteria for international buyers will be strict as our focus is to host buyers who are serious about bringing business to Zimbabwe and who also have potential to invest in the tourism industry,” she said adding that they expected over 100 of such credible buyers from various source markets.
She also encouraged local players to take up the opportunity to market their products and network.
“I am appealing to every operator throughout the country to come out and take advantage of the fair. No operator is small in tourism as everyone has a market to serve. We want everyone to be present.
“It is my wish to also have tourism operators and supplies from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” the ZTA boss said.
Likukuma said the registration which has now has opened and exhibition space will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
“All exhibitors were urged to book early to avoid last minute disappointments,” she said.
This year’s edition is expected to have over 318 exhibitors who participated in last year’s edition.
“The 2018 edition registered 318 exhibitors and it is envisaged that this number will be surpassed given the interest that has come through from first time exhibitors. We want the 2019 edition to be much bigger and definitely much better,” said Likukuma
In order to encourage operators to participate at the expo the ZTA boss said they will offer 10 percent discounts to exhibitors who register at the ZTA stand during ZITF.
It further stressed that Exhibitors would also be privy to the online meetings diary where they can schedule meetings with international buyers prior to the exhibition.
Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo was created to facilitate business to business meetings all under one roof without incurring huge costs on travel to meet tour operators and wholesalers in the source markets.