Bulawayo Bureau – Local players in the tourism industry exhibiting at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair have expressed optimism that they will seal deals to help prepare for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be held in August.
Zimbabwe and Zambia will co-host the UNWTO General Assembly from August 24-29 in Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
Speaking to Business Chronicle, the players said the premier trade showcase had created a platform for them to meet and partner with regional and international players.
Information and communications manager for Ngamo Safaris, a subsidiary of the Forestry Commission, Ms Violet Makoto, said the international trade showcase afforded them an opportunity to meet new business players both local and international to fully gear up for the UNWTO.
“Our exhibition at this year’s edition of the ZITF has created a platform for us to meet new business partners both local and international who would help us to intensify our efforts to fully gear up for the oncoming UNWTO General Assembly.
“We are progressing well with our refurbishments and with the support we are getting from foreign buyers, we will definitely meet our target and this is in line with our growth strategy,” said Ms Makoto.
Khanondo Safaris and Tours marketing officer Miss Sithulisiwe Nyathi said they were receiving a lot of inquiries from international buyers participating at ZITF.
“Our participation at this trade showcase has created new business opportunities ahead the prestigious event as we are receiving a lot of enquiries from Poland, China, South Africa and other regional and international countries,” said Miss Nyathi.
Easy Go Car Hire and Travel representative Mr Caxton Mangezi said the fair provided an opportunity to market their services.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority head of public relations and corporate affairs Mr Sugar Chagonda urged local players exhibiting at this year’s edition of the ZITF to utilise the opportunity to intensify their efforts to market Zimbabwe as a safe destination ahead the general assembly.
“We are organising meetings with local tourism players exhibiting at the ZITF so that they present their products and services to international players who are attending the trade showcase so that they will be fully equipped for UNWTO,” he said.
“As ZTA we are happy with the state of preparedness shown by local players in the tourism industry who are exhibiting here and we are urging them to use it as a platform to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination ahead the UNWTO general assembly,” he said.
Date: 25 April 2013