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Zimbabwe's Tourism sector concerned over fuel, electricity challenges ahead of Tourism Expo

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Harare, Zimbabwe, August 11 (Infosplusgabon) - The tourism industry remains concerned at the current fuel and electricity challenges being experienced in the country ahead of next month’s Sanganai Hlanganani World Travel Expo.


The Sanganai Hlanganani World Travel Expo is an annual expo held in Zimbabwe which attracts foreign and local tourism operators to showcase their wares. This year’s edition of the expo has been slated for 12-14 September.


The fuel challenges involve high prices and shortage of the precious liquid due to the unavailability of foreign currency to import it while electricity issues are falling capacity to generate power forcing higher tariffs recently.


“We are hoping that this year’s Sanganai Hlanganani will be a success considering the enthusiasm and resilience of the businesses and service providers. However, our only concern at the moment is whether or not there will be enough fuel for businesses to take their merchandise and products to the fair. It is not a question of filling up stands but to be able to do business since this is the biggest tourism market in the country,” Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ) chief executive officer Paul Matamisa, in an interview said.


He said the issue of fuel had an impact on the ease of doing business.


“We have since taken up the issue of fuel with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and we believe they are working flat out to ensure that fuel is available before, during and after Sanganai Hlanganani,” Matamisa said.


TBCZ is largest business membership organization for tourism in Zimbabwe.


The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) also showed concern over the fuel shortages as a potential impediment to the expo's success.


“We just hope relevant authorities will make fuel available for visitors and exhibitors as well as to improve on the electricity situation during the days and beyond. This is so tourism as a sector cannot make it along without a holistic approach by all other sectors to paint all positive image about country Zimbabwe,” HAZ president Innocent Manyera said.


On the issue of pricing during the expo, Manyera said: "The issue to do with accommodation rates is mainly determined by the demand and supply which are key market fundamentals to determine prices. During the Sanganai/Hlanganani there is generally high demand on almost all products in Bulawayo which on it’s own moves prices upwards.”


According to ZTA, over 250 exhibitors have registered under the expo with about 20 countries having confirmed their participation including India, China, Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.


“This is going to be a three-day event in which we are trying to promote Zimbabwe for MICE, which is Meetings, Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions. We are promoting Zimbabwe as a MICE destination where people come and converge," ZTA Head Corporate Affairs, Godfrey Koti said.


"They must also take this opportunity to do business and we want to use this event to further promote that idea, especially with the fact that this exposition is registered under the United Nations World Tourism Organisation calendar.”








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