From : Newsday.co.zw

30 October 2012

Report by Business Reporter

THE fifth edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair held in Harare recently generated business deals in excess of $250 million, it has emerged.

At least 85 foreign exhibitors, mainly from Africa and 1 200 local exhibitors, took part in the event.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke on Friday said the authority was satisfied with business generated during the fair.

“However, preliminary reports show that contracts signed between the industry and buyers are worth in excess of $250 million,” Kaseke said.

He said there was need to prioritise funding for the tourism sector as a result of the shortage of capital, risk of borrowing and lack of sector-specific banks.

“To mitigate these challenges we shall engage the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe as well as the government to reintroduce the tourism revolving fund, which was once introduced by the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe) in 2007,” he said.

“The country is also seriously lagging behind in terms of e-commerce and this has impacted negatively on the growth of tourism.”
Kaseke said as Zimbabwe continued to advance the development of a positive destination image, lack of a national vision exposed the country’s prime tourism product.

“Tourism is the only sub-sector of the national brand that successfully rebranded. Tourism doesn’t function outside other sub sectors like investment, culture, trade and governance,” he said.

He said township tourism would be fully integrated in the mainstream tourism economy eventually.