ACTING President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga, will today lead proceedings during the launch of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Legacy Foundation, a key tourism heritage project and a major highlight of this year’s Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.
The launch will be held at the Large City Hall this evening. Bulawayo is host to the 11th edition of the specialised annual exhibition, which is expected to help market the country as an international travel destination of choice.
More than 300 companies have booked to exhibit at the event, organisers, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), have said. Part of the 240 buyers and 15 international media drawn from across markets, who arrived in the country last week, are expected to utilise the four-day event to engage with local tourism and hospitality industry players and ink strategic business deals.
Dr Chiwenga is also expected to deliver his keynote address to mark the official opening of the expo late afternoon tomorrow at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre. Earlier in the day, he will lead a tour of the late Father Zimbabwe’s Pelandaba and Matsheumhlophe homes as well as his statue at the intersection of 8th Avenue and JMN Nkomo Street in the city centre.
The launch will provide narratives that will be used to develop and promote the late VP Nkomo’s Tourism Heritage Trails. Tourism Heritage Trails entail the crafting of routes that tourists can undertake if they want to understand the history behind an iconic figure or any heritage. Apart from Dr Nkomo’s Heritage Trails, other main events include the awards ceremony, African tourism ministers’ round table, chef’s cookout and women in tourism conference.
About 21 countries drawn from Africa, Europe and Asia will participate at this year’s expo. These include South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, China and the United Kingdom (UK).
Buyers have conducted pre-exhibition tours across the country’s major destinations to sample and appreciate the country’s tourism product that will aid informed packaging across markets. The tours covered Zimbabwe’s tourism hotspots of Mana pools, Bumi Hills, Kariba, Eastern Highlands, Gonarezhou, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Hwange, Binga, Matopos and Bulawayo. Some groups of buyers as well as media are expected from North America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Sanganai/Hlanganani is a business to business exposition that presents networking opportunities between buyers, exhibitors and the travel trade.