BULAWAYO, June 9 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s tourism fair, Hlanganani/Sanganai Travel Expo has boosted tourist arrivals by 700,000 since its launch 10 years ago according to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke.
By comparison, Malaysia which launched its ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’ brand at the same time, increased arrivals by 26 million over the same period.
Speaking at the Hlanganani/Sanganai 10th anniversary launch in Bulawayo on Thursday, Kaseke said Zimbabwe was failing to attract large numbers of tourists.
Last year Zimbabwe received 2,1 million tourists, up from 2,06 million in 2015 and earned the country $890 million, according to ZTA statistics released this week..
“10 years of Sanganai has seen our tourism growing from 1,5 million to 2,2 million. It’s not something to celebrate. For 10 years we increased tourism arrivals by only 700 000. It’s not good,” Kaseke said.
“Other countries are growing their tourism in a manner that you would admire. I was in Malaysia 10 years ago and they were receiving slightly above 5 million tourists. Last year they received 31 million.”
Sanganai/Hlanganai, which will be hosted from September 27 to October 1 in Bulawayo this year, targets local and international exhibitors, among them national tourism boards, embassies, international airlines and leading hotel chains.
So far, 50 local exhibitors have booked space out of 250 targeted. About 66 international buyers have confirmed participation against targeted 250. Ten are from the European Union, 2 from America, 15 from China-Asian Pacific and 39 from Africa.