The City of Kings hosted one of Africa’s prime tourism and travel showcases, which attracted 318 companies and 195 international buyers and media. The expo saw itself hosting 23 countries and 77 companies in sharing stands, which is the highest recorded since the rebranding of the expo.
“This year has seen an overwhelming response from quality exhibitors with many companies who were still trickling in last minute. We have had to extend the exhibition space to allow for interested companies to showcase at this premier event,” ZTA chief executive officer, Mr Karikoga Kaseke, told journalists during a briefing.
He said 318 companies had taken up stands at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre and these were drawn from the tourism industry, financial services sector, tertiary institutions, local authorities and suppliers.
The exhibition space that was occupied was at 7,548 square metres, which was a positive change in uptake from 2016 with 6,237 square metres. This increase of over 1,000 square metres in space uptake showed a lot of interest directed towards the tourism sector. The tourism sector also realised an increase of 4,6 percent in exhibiting companies from last year, which demonstrated growth.
Growth was evident of an increase in foreign participation as 195 international buyers and media arrived in the country and they conducted pre-tours and post Sanganai tours which allowed the media to write stories on the destination Zimbabwe.
This year’s edition sought to enhance business to business exchange through speed networking. The authority hosted a speed networking session between the local accommodation providers, tour operators, local authorities and suppliers for the very first time which allowed them to engage each other in doing business. Speed networking sessions were also conducted between local operators and international buyers having considered the fruitful engagements that came out from the first session in 2017.
This year’s edition began with commemorations of the life of the late icon, founding nationalist and Vice President of Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo. A march in honor of the late national hero was conducted starting from the Blue Lagoon in Thorngrove, via Stanley Square in Makokoba to the JM Nkomo statue in the city center ending at the City Hall. Guest of honor Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga officially opened the expo.
Source: Chronicle 06 September 2018