The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and some local tourism operators are part of the 338 exhibitors showcasing their services and products to potential buyers at this year’s edition of Meetings Africa, which kicked off in Sandton City, Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday.
The event is running from 25 -27 February 2019 and has a packed program, which involves exhibitions, networking events and educational sessions all around the field of business tourism. Participants are drawn from players in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector.
Zimbabwe is represented by players who are keen on tapping into the lucrative MICE industry and build new contacts for more business as the business tourism sector is characterised by high spenders and large groups ranging from 100 – 3000 participants. The International Congress and Convention Association says conferencing accounts for direct spend of US$1.03 trillion worldwide and draws in 4 billion participants from 180 countries.
The event aims to showcase Africa’s diverse offering of services and products where African associations and African meetings industry professionals can partner to help transform our continent. “The first day also known as the BONDay (Business Opportunity and Networking Day) started on a positive note with key associations in the MICE industry hosting their members to education and networking sessions aimed at enhancing professional development in the sector and industry. Fruitful discussions were held on how the continent can grow and claim its share of the global receipts of Business Tourism.” said ZTA’s Ms Esnath Mboma attending the show.
Zimbabwean operators who are attending the fair expressed their satisfaction with the organisation and level of business interactions so far, “Business Opportunities and Networking Day which was on the first day was amazing. The topics presented were really beneficial and I felt they addressed pertinent issues and needs that were relevant to entrepreneurs. It was well organised and the presenters conducted themselves very well. So far we have had great responses and all the appointments are being filled. It is a great networking platform and we are also using this as a way of updating our database especially from a business perspective.” said Joy Mataruka of Manna Resorts.
The Acting Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Mrs Rita Likukuma highlighted that time has come for Zimbabwe to earnestly unlock the MICE market potential for the benefit of the Zimbabwean economy. She went on to say that Zimbabwe should embrace the role of intra-regional cooperation in the advancement of MICE Tourism in the destination.