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A BUMPER cast of networking activities ranging from culinary tourism demos, women in tourism capacity building workshops, tourism research conferences, speed networking sessions and tech hubs are set to light up the 12th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani. 

The tourism expo will be held 12-14 September 2019 at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) acting chief executive officer Givemore Chidzidzi said at least 260 exhibitors have so far registered to participate while 170 buyers including 25 international media from Zimbabwe’s different source markets have confirmed.

“We have a total of 170 buyers, including 25 international media from our different source markets,” he said.

ZTA in collaboration with the tourism industry has put together seven pre and post Sanganai/Hlanganani tours for buyers. 

The tours are beginning 3 September and end as late as 22 September 2019. The tourism industry participated in the programme by offering services such as transport, accommodation, activities and meals,” Chidzidzi said.

To date 10 countries have registered to participate namely Malawi, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, India, South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

Buyers and sellers have already begun initiating contacts online through online appointments, Chidzidzi said.

The ZTA developed an online appointment system. Exhibitors and buyers meet online to make appointments. Initiated by either the exhibitor or buyer. Prior to the show one would have taken up contacts and scheduled some appointments,” Chidzidzi said. 

The festival will also offer networking activities in the form of speed dating where buyers and exhibitors derive their maximum value of attending Sanganai. 

Speed dating will be happening 12 – 13 September 2019. At this event exhibitors and buyers have the opportunity to present themselves in short pitches and at the same time seize the opportunity to exchange ideas and start long-term collaborations,” Chidzidzi said.

Other networking events earmarked for the festival is the Tourism Research Conference organised by Tourism Educators and Researchers Association of Zimbabwe.

This is essential for growing the sector through tourism research-based solutions and bridging the gap between the academia and practitioners,” Chidzidzi said. 

As a seasoning to the tourism expo, a tech hub will be staged in hall 4 during Sanganai/Hlanganani to promote technological innovations that can be used for the betterment of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the country at large.

In so far as culinary tourism is concerned, the chefs cook out programme will run throughout Sanganai/Hlanganani so as to promote culinary tourism in the country. 

The chefs’ cookout will consist of a number of disciplines which include wine tasting, cake making, dessert making, and amateur cook-offs. Embassies are invited to come and showcase their cuisine.

“The thrust of this program is to augment culinary tourism in Zimbabwe and showcase the different cuisines in Zimbabwe,” Chidzidzi said. 

“This event will also give our international buyers an opportunity to sample the diverse indigenous foods in Zimbabwe.”

Chidzidzi implored Zimbabweans from all walks of life as well as the corporate sector to take full advantage of the once-a-year action-packed festival to grow their brands and ultimately Zimbabwe’s tourism product. Zim morning news

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