By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Ghanaian buyers who are in the country for this year’s edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Expo, have said African tourist destinations should champion an “Africa for Africa” strategy as a way of boosting continental visits.
This year’s edition of the Expo will be held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo and will run from tomorrow to Saturday and comes at a time when arrivals are on the rise, thanks to the good will the country is enjoying on the back of President Mnangagwa’s rise to power.
Organisers of the Expo, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), have already confirmed the arrival of international buyers from Germany, France, Italy, the Benelux, as well as those from North America and Asia.
Speaking to the media at the Robert Mugabe International Airport after the arrival of Ghanaian buyers whose delegation also included officials from that country’s Tourism Authority, Ghana Women in Tourism president who is also Zimbabwe Tourism Ambassador in West Africa Ms Nancy Sam, said Zimbabwe was an important player in African tourism that cannot be ignored.
She said the challenge, however, was the negative perception that most African tourists had on African destinations, hence the need to do more in terms of marketing.
Ms Sam said not much is known about Zimbabwean tourism in West Africa despite the country’s natural endowments.
It is against this background that she said her team was going to capitalise on Sanganai/ Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Expo to market destination Zimbabwe and demystify the negative perception. “(We are here) because somebody must tell the story of Zimbabwe,” said Ms Sam.