The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority hosts its 7th annual Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo, at the Harare Conference center, Thursday, with hopes of a stronger participation, than previous years.
Chief Executive Officer Karikoga Kaseke of the Zimbabwe Travel Association, says preparations are at an advanced stage for the three-day expo running under the theme: “Promoting Peace Through Tourism.”
Normally held in October, Kaseke said they brought the Expo foward to June, based on several suggestions from buyers, interested in marketing Zimbabwe as a tourist destination.
"We wer missing an opportunity by having it in October because buyers who come to Zimbabwe to buy the destination, close their catalog by end of July." Kaseke further explained, "we decided to have it in June so that Zimbabwe is in next year's catalogs when buyers put up their catalogs."
Kaseke said they are expecting about 200-international buyers and media to attend the event. He said some had arrived in the country ahead of the expo, and will get to see the best of what Zimbabwe has to offer.
"We hope to take the international travel buyers to our major tourist destinations so that they can experience our hospitality and go back to their home countries to market Zimbabwe," said Kaseke.
Tourists from the United Kingdom and Ireland make up the bulk of the visitors to Zimbabwe from European countries, Kaseke said, with America, Germany, France and the Benelux region, following close behind.
"According to our 2014 statistics the United Kingdom topped the list of our international tourist and we are consistently trying to attract new markets including our focus this year on our own domestic tourism," said Kaseke.
Kaseke said in addition to international buyers, they hope the Expo also helps to attract local and domestic tourists to the country’s premier destinations.
Running alongside the travel expo will be a trade exhibition featuring local travel companies and other local industries.
Sanganai is the successor of Shanyai/Vakatshani, The Zimbabwe International Travel Expo, ZITE, held annually at the Harare International Conference Center.