The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe says it is geared up to host the 12th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel Expo scheduled for September 12 to 14 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds in Bulawayo dismissing fears of shortages of accommodation during the event.
HAZ president Innocent Manyera said the region was now geared up for Africa’s premier business exchange but reiterated that price increases in accommodation was inevitable during this globally recognised expo.
“I would say the region and other support regions are prepared to host this year’s edition. All efforts are underway to make sure we give the fair the deserving attention to market our products as well as Zimbabwe at large.
“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 its own moves prices upwards,” he said.
Manyera noted that current fuel and power shortages pose a huge threat to price affordability.
“Also the cost of doing business on its own plays a role in the price of the final product. Likes straightly in our own case we have prices of fuel, gas, electricity among other things adjusted recently due to inflationary pressures.
“Worst-case scenario is that we now rely more than 50 percent of the day on diesel-powered generators which on its own is scarce and expensive compared to electricity,” he noted.
Manyera said most bookings were paid for and visitors had agreed with the offer from operators.
“What we do we benchmark our accommodation rates with other regional shows which most visitors are familiar with to make sure we remain competitive,” he said.
He, however, hoped that the fuel situation would improve in the build-up to the event.
“We just hope relevant authorizes will make fuel available for visitors and exhibitors as well as to improve on the electricity situation during the days and beyond.
“Tourism as a sector cannot do it all alone without a holistic approach by all other sectors to paint all positive image about country Zimbabwe,” he said.
According to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) already over 250 exhibitors have registered 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. 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,” ZTA Head Corporate Affairs Godfrey Koti said.