Zimbabwe rebrands its annual travel and tourism fair

Victoria Falls bridge

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has rebranded the previously named Zimbabwe International Travel Expo (ZITE) to Sanganai World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair.

Held in Bulawayo at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre from October 15 to 19, 2008, the fair is expected to provide a platform for networking and creating business relations both regional and globally.

Chief executive for the ZTA Karikoga Kaseke said, “Recognising that the expo was not only about visiting, ZTA saw it appropriate to clearly position ZITE to an international level where the world meets Africa in Zimbabwe. The rebranding process was done to transform the fair to a global tourism trade fair that compares well with or better than other big international tourism and travel fairs such as the Indaba - South Africa, World Travel Market, London, Arabian Travel Market, Dubai and other world renowned fairs. It was also done to raise the profile of the fair to attract leading world destinations and markets,” said Kaseke.

“Sanganai is a Shona word that means meet or converge.  It is a word that shows the aspect of reciprocity where not only one person participates but various people meet to share their experiences at one spot. Thus, as a travel and tourism expo, Sanganai provides a centre stage where world tourism destinations will converge in Zimbabwe for business and networking purposes,” he said.

The minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism, Francis Nhema encouraged the tourism industry to work towards this initiative that will take the country to a higher level both in the tourism economy as well as the country’s development. Zimbabwe has recently been gearing itself up to receive more visitors following years of stagnant tourism development. In Kariba, the man made lake in the north of the country, a number of lodges and hotels have been built or refurbished and reopened.

 “Kariba has suffered alot with no business,” said Givemore Chidzidzi, executive director destination marketing, for the ZTA. “This was just a phase the country was going through. We have put many strategies in place now, although we have been hampered by certain countries imposing sanctions upon us.”

“The 2010 FIFA event in South Africa is definitely an incentive but refurbishment of our lodges and hotels has not been carried out only because of this event. It has been going on for some time,” he said.

Chidzidzi said that tourism operations in Victoria Falls have kept going strong despite the turmoil of recent years and continued to do very well.

The Sanganai World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair has been catch phrased ‘where the world meets Africa’, and the ZTA believes it will become the second leading tourism platform in Africa after Indaba.