Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will this year have strict selection criteria for international buyers to participate at the Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo so as to focus on serious buyers, ZTA acting Chief Executive Rita Likukuma has said.
The Expo will be held from 12 to 14 September 2019 in Bulawayo.
Addressing journalists at the Sanganai/Hlananani press briefing Likukuma said ZTA was expecting 100 international buyers.
“We expect to host no less than 100 international buyers from various source markets and these are overseas markets that will be coming through to Zimbabwe to try and see what packages they can get for their tourists emanating from the regions which they operate from. The screening for international buyers will be strict as our focus is to host buyers who are serious about bringing business to Zimbabwe and who have potential to invest in the tourism industry,” she said.
She added: “We must make sure that when they come in they are able to deliver on their promises,” She said.
Likukuma urged local operators to come out and take advantage of the fair.
“The speed networking sessions that were introduced have two additions and these have yielded great benefits for participants who utilised the forum to introduce new products and services to international buyers. Speed networking will take place on the 12th h and 13th of September and these two are the business days for the expo. I am appealing to every operator throughout the country to come out and take advantage of the fair.
“Locally we say no operator is too small in tourism because it does not matter what their size is, they can actually do wonders and bring a very big team into the country. I know that in a week, we are expecting one large group from America led by Henry Young and they are being brought by a small operator,” she said.
ZTA Chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi said some international buyers come for the sake of coming hence the need for a strict process. We have got international buyers, there is a tendency that you have some buyers that will come for the sake of coming so we are looking at track record and we will be consulting with the tourism industry to see how bona fide these operators are because when you are registering buyers, you are registering buyers from all over the world.
“You will have to do some due diligence that is where the screening is going to be very strict to find out who they are, their profiles, what potential, what business have they generated to Zimbabwe or to other competing destinations so that is a rigorous process that will be undertaken to make sure that we invest where we will get some proper returns,” he said.