San­ganai shines light on Zim­babwe’s tourism boom

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sanganai / Hlanganani In Pictures / News - Robert Mukondiwa re­cently in BU­L­AWAYO

There is a se­ri­ous prob­lem with San­ganai/ Hlan­ganani Travel Expo. And it is not par­tic­u­larly a bad one.

THE prob­lem? The expo has be­come very, very big.

All the ar­ter­ies of the richly di­verse City of Kings, as Bu­l­awayo is af­fec­tion­ately known, were pumped up with ac­tiv­ity as the week-long event rolled into town leav­ing the city with lit­er­ally no room at the inn; any inn!

At­tract­ing buy­ers from all over the world, the expo was more than proof that the na­tion had started win­ning hearts and minds yet again as the sun rises on the tourism sec­tor after years of iso­la­tion from the rest of the world.

Granted, the Zim­babwe Tourism Au­thor­ity, the mother of the event and gain­ing crowds into our ports had done ex­cep­tion­ally well un­der ex­tremely un­favourable con­di­tions, but if Karikoga Kaseke, the au­thor­ity’s chief ex­ec­u­tive shone in the dark days, his job is go­ing to flour­ish all the brighter now that the dawn on tourism has bro­ken. “We have al­ways said that Zim­babwe should be a des­ti­na­tion of choice and un­der the new dis­pen­sa­tion and Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa say­ing our na­tion is open for busi­ness, the flood­gates have in­deed been opened and people want to come to Zim­babwe and spend their money in the com­fort of our hos­pi­tal­ity,” said a bright faced Kaseke. With ZTA and Gov­ern­ment join­ing forces with the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Foun­da­tion, a bright smile was not the only thing sparkling on Kaseke; so too was his tra­di­tional Nde­bele head­gear, the Mqhele, which he wore to cel­e­brate the part­ner­ship to keep the mem­ory alive of one of Zim­babwe’s found­ing fa­thers. And wasn’t he just look­ing like a younger mini-Ny­on­golo in the tra­di­tional royal head­gear?

“The present Gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has put a per­sonal ef­fort to make sure the im­age of the na­tion is re­vamped and we are see­ing the fruits of the pres­i­dent’s vi­sion. I will per­son­ally work hard to en­sure that the pres­i­dent’s dreams and tar­gets are met and his pol­icy and dreams come to fruition to en­sure a suc­cess­ful econ­omy to which tourism will con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to­wards,” he said. The buy­ers were also buoy­ant. Dwayne Tours and Sa­fari’s from Botswana’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the event cel­e­brated how Zim­babwe had grown in re­cent years and how the San­ganai/Hlan­ganani Expo is one of the premium must-at­tend ex­pos in Africa after the Ind­aba in Dur­ban. “You Zim­bab­weans are very priv­i­leged to be or­gan­ised as you are and have an au­thor­ity like ZTA that makes sure the in­dus­try is well man­aged. It is con­ti­nu­ity that we envy and em­u­late and we con­tinue to take notes on how you op­er­ate not only in San­ganai but also in other events like the car­ni­val,” he said.

The down­side may be how Bu­l­awayo ur­gently needs to have new ho­tels built up as in­ter­est in the city of cul­ture grows, as many people had to be housed far from the city cen­tre and at times in places so far it is a won­der that the sun still shines there.

All is well that ends well and this re­sound­ingly suc­cess­ful San­ganai/Hlan­ganani al­ready set the buzz for next years’ edition with buy­ers say­ing in be­tween now and then, Zim­babwe shall play host to tonnes of new smiles from visi­tors that they will bring in their drones to the world of won­ders that is Zim­babwe!

Karikoga Kaseke

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