WASHINGTON DC —
Preparations for the 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) are in top gear with most of the exhibition space at the showgrounds and Bulawayo hotels almost fully booked.
ZITF management is confident that this year’s international shop window, to be held between April 22 and 26, will be a big success. There are fears, however, that the shrinking economy may turn off some exhibitors and visitors.
Some economists believe that shrewd business executives will take advantage of the poor performance of the economy to turn around their fortunes at the ZITF.
Strategic business planning consultant, Phillip Chichoni, expects many such business executives at the ZITF in large numbers.
“Those that have already booked space are not expected to pull out of the event but the bigger picture is that this is a big event for both local and international companies even if the Zimbabwe economy is not performing well right now,” he said.
Bulawayo businessman Bulisani Ncube added that the ZITF this year is expected to be bigger and better than last year’s event though it is set to attract fewer members of the public.
“Most people do not have extra money to spend and as a result they won’t be able to attend the ZITF this year,” said Ncube.
Most hotels are almost fully booked in Bulawayo for the event but there appears to be little interest in bookings in Victoria Falls compared to previous years.
Ilala Lodge manager Siphambaniso Moyo said it is surprising that few people have booked for the event at the resort town compared to last year.
“We think this is not a good indicator for the upcoming ZITF as the number of people visiting this place during the international showcase is always high at this time of the year.”