Liberty Dube Post Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has set its sights towards luring more regional and global tourists and boost contribution to the country’s gross domestic product through lining up a series of tourism events scheduled for this year.
The calendar will see potentially-exhilarating events taking place across various cities in the country.
“We are looking forward to yet another exciting year as we unroll this year’s tourism calendar.
Interestingly, the events are dotted around several parts of the country and this will enable people to actively participate and benefit immensely while boosting domestic tourism in the process.
We are looking forward to hosting successful events,” said ZTA head of corporate affairs, Mr Sugar Chagonda.
Government this week reversed ZTA’s decision to cancel this year’s Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel Expo, which is the country’s largest trade fair, saying resources would be availed to fund the event.
ZTA chief executive, Mr Karikoga Kaseke, was quoted earlier on saying he was not interested in hosting the event this year because the authority owed service providers about $150 000.
“The Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry would like to assure the nation, tourism players both domestic and international, and all stakeholders that the 2017 edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel Expo will be held as planned and that it would do all it can to make sure that all the implementation of the national event by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority,” said part of a statement from the ministry.
The expo, just like last year, will be held in Bulawayo.
The expo is now a regular feature on ZTA’s tourism calendar and has been a successful platform that brings together exhibitors and buyers from beyond the borders.
Last year’s event despite shifting from Harare to Bulawayo managed to attract more than 200 exhibitors and more than 120 buyers drawn from Zimbabwe and 10 other countries.
Hoteliers, service providers, tour operators, airlines among other key players in the tourism sector, have been major participants in the expo.
Last year, the much-anticipated Harare International Carnival could not take place because of unclear reasons.
The Harare Global Festival of Arts from April 25 to 30 to be held in Harare will run concurrently with the potentially-explosive Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which will be held in Bulawayo.
After the Sanganai/Hlanganani, there will be a Victoria Falls Marathon to be held on June 18 in Victoria Falls.
There will be a Kariba Carnival to be held in July in Kariba while the Nyami Festival will also be held this summer in the same town.
There will be a Zimbabwe Movie Festival to be held in the capital in August while during the same month another potentially — exciting showcase, Great Limpopo Cultural Trade Reasonable will take place in Chiredzi Mhlanguleni. Gwanda will play host to the Gwanda Gospel Festival in August followed by the Harare Agricultural Display later during the year.