By Byron Mutingwende
The Sanganai Hlanganani World Tourism Expo fits the bill of and stands tall among internationally recognised exhibitions, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry has said.
In her speech at the expo awards ceremony in Bulawayo on 7 September 2018, tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira expressed her deepest satisfaction with the world-class quality of exhibition stands that gave the judges challenging moments in selecting the winners among the various categories.
“As I toured the exhibition, I was struck by the extremely high quality of displays at each stand. Well done to you all. Your quality displays contributed to showcasing that Zimbabwe and Africa is a tourist destination of high international standards and rating. Exhibitions are a critical marketing tool that only showcase the products and services available but also have the pull factor that draws quality international buyers and sellers together to conduct business under one roof. Sanganai Hlanganani has just done that to the quality of display on exhibit,” Mupfumira said.
She added that the quality of displays would not have attained international standards were it not for the exhibitors’ outstanding displays and urged the players to continue working hard to improve for better quality in future.
Respected tourism leaders from the region graced the awards ceremony. In attendance were the minister of trade and tourism of Malawi, Henry Mussa and the minister of tourism of South Africa, Derek Hanekom.
Among the respected judges were Veronica Chapman from the Green Tourism Business from the United Kingdom, Charlene Hewat of Green Line Africa, Paul Matamisa of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, Wisdom Siziba from Bulawayo City Council, Naledi Ngulube from the Environmental Management Agency and Dr Lucky Mlilo (the Chief Judge) from the Professional Business Association of Zimbabwe, just to mention a few.
In the public institution stand category, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe emerged the best ahead of first runner up the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe and the second runner up, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The Harare publicity association was on top followed by the first runner up the City of Mutare and Bulawayo City as second runner up in the best publicity association stand category.
As has become a norm, the School of Hospitality beat second placed Chinhoyi University of Technology and third placed Mutare Polytechnic College to be judged the best among the training institutions.
While there was stiff competition, among tour operators, Ngamo Safaris proved the best followed by Greater Kuduland and lastly the Zambezi Cruise Safaris. As was predictable from the displays, the African Sun hotels were the best followed by the Meikles Hotel and the Rainbow Tourism Group respectively in the race for best hotel stand category.
Sethule was the winner followed by Amalinda and Motsami respectively in the best lodges stand category. In the non-hotel accommodation category, Padandaro Guest Lodge emerged the best followed by Kanyi Guest Lodge and Mpala Boutique respectively.
Other categories under competition include the best SMEs non-mainstream tourism; airlines; first-time exhibitors; international; car rental; and best overall stand award that went to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.