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Hlanganani lights up Bulawayo

by Staff reporter
23 Oct 2022 at 19:02hrs | Views
ONCE again, Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe, literally burst at the seams with the return of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.i

Dubbed Africa's premium business exchange, the expo ignited the brilliance and warmth of Bulawayo, the home of Kings and Queens.

And coming from a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in physical form, the Sanganai/ Hlanganani World Tourism Expo 2022 was indeed the place to be as it offered tourists and visitors big entertainment.

While it is not easy to mix business with pleasure, it was almost always the case with the 15th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani as it provided a feast of both.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), the organiser of the expo, must be commended for pulling off a spectacular event as the tourism sector awakens from the shock of Covid-19.

Apparently the tourism sector is one that was hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic.

People could not travel and the hospitality industry almost closed shop.

One of the highlights was the South African tourism stand which kept visitors to Hall 4 entertained.

There is no doubt that South African hospitality is different from the Zimbabwean version.

The South Africans continuously kept the hall alive with music and plenty of beverages which were generously dished out to visitors at the stand.

What was all the more surprising was that most people manning the stand were from Zimbabwe but working for the South African tourism industry. The expo was well-organised in terms of programming.

Guests and visitors were treated to a welcome reception at the Museum which was officially opened by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.

Although there were delays here and there, the guests were treated to a sumptuous meal and also some drinks during networking.

It was a colourful experience marked by pomp and fanfare.

Judging from the turnout at every function, one could tell that the pandemic had taken a toll on the night life of the city.

Then the after-party at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair also proved popular among tourists.

Then there was the Sanganai/Hlanganani Family Music Festival that saw stand-out performances by South Africans Big Zulu and Costa Titch.

The two artistes really shut down the tourism expo, drawing a beautiful audience at the ZITF main arena.

Zimbabwean musicians in the likes of Sandra Ndebele, Boy Nino and Djembe Monks also gave fans a great show.

But outside of business, according to Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Winnie Muchanyuka, the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo reignited growth of the meetings, incentives, conferences &land exhibitions (Mice) sector and positively impacted on domestic tourism.

In support of devolution, she said, they ensured that every province was fully represented exposing hidden gems. And community-based tourism was showcased, with several exhibitors from across the 10 provinces included in the tourism value chain. "The return of physical meetings and events has not only been celebrated by the tourism industry but by all sectors.

"This has reignited the growth of the Mice sector and we have witnessed the positive impact of this locally as well," Muchanyuka said.

Another feature that took centre stage was the Tourism Innovation Hub (innovative tourism-related projects).

The initiative is aimed at supporting youth and exposing their ideas to the global community.

The continuation of speed networking —B2B meetings for buyers and exhibitors —made sure that destination Zimbabwe would gain traction on the tourism map.

Another exciting addition was the tourism investment conference that saw stakeholders converging to explore tourism opportunities.

Judging from various discussions, it appears there is great opportunity in tourism real estate.

It was noted that Zimbabwe still has a lot of opportunities for those who want to develop conference facilities.

Source - thenewshawks