By Hildah Sipono
International buyers from key source markets have said Zimbabwe is sellable and buyable.
The buyers arrived in Harare yesterday on a familiarisation tour ahead of the 11th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel Expo scheduled for Bulawayo on September 6-8 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds.
“People do not want to see what they see in Tanzania, South Africa and some of the African countries but rather tourists are interested in the uniqueness of a country,” said Anne-Leen De Backer, the Travel Designer of Sensations from Belgium.
“With this said, the buyers hope to advise the Zimbabwean Tourism Industry on how they can improve their marketing from what they have seen, felt and loved in Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority International Executive Director, Mr Jeffreys Manjengwa, said the familiarisation tour enables the buyers to have a feel of Zimbabwe.
“Since the coming of the new dispensation last year, His Excellence Emmerson Dambudzo Munangagwa, has been preaching that ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ and the coming of the buyers shows that there is a reaction in the International market to this message and indeed the response is impressive,” he said.
The buyers are expected to sample and appreciate the country’s tourism product that will aid informed packaging across markets. The tours will proffer Zimbabwe’s tourism hotspots of Manna pools, Bumi Hills, Kariba Dams, Eastern Highlands, Gonarezhou, Masvingo, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Binga, Matopo Hills and Bulawayo. Bruno Alegi, the buyer from France said that Zimbabwe has a friendly atmosphere, from the people to the tourist destinations and as such would strongly sell Zimbabwe to tourists.
The buyers’ arrival is a clear sign of the confidence that the International market has on destination Zimbabwe especially with the rejuvenated interest that has been exhibited since November 2017.
It is such an exciting time for the Zimbabwe tourism to leverage on this goodwill with the major thrust of regaining the lost market share and increasing tourism traffic to Zimbabwe.
The Authority will be receiving more groups of buyers as well as media from North America, Africa, Asia and Europe. It is anticipated that 240 buyers and 15 media across markets shall converge at the ZITF grounds for this year’s Sanganai.
Sanganai/ Hlanganani is a business to business exposition that presents networking opportunities between the buyers, exhibitors and the travel trade. To date, 288 exhibitors and 21 countries have registered for participation.