By Shingirai Vambe.
Bulawayo- The just ended Sanganai/ Hlanganani Tourism Expo, Networking and Exhibition which was going on in Bulawayo, is now in the second phase of touring places and facilities in Zimbabwe and likely to end on the 22nd of this month.
International buyers will be touring different places of attraction so that they can go back and market Zimbabwe.
Ending the networking and exhibition phase, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) organised a capacity building workshop for women in tourism. Different life and business experiences were shared by players in the industry, encouraging and urging women to fully explore and participate in the industry.
Various speakers made their presentations including the Zimbabwe Women Empowerment Bank which is fully supporting all upcoming entrepreneurs including those in the tourism sector.
Delivering his opening remarks, ZTA Chief Executive, Givemore Chidzidzi said the government is committed to supporting players in the tourism sector.
“The tourism sector definitely provides various entry points for women’s empowerment and opportunities for creating self-empowerment in small and medium sized income generating activities, thus creating paths towards the elimination of poverty in women and local communities.
The owner of Sithule Lodge in Bulawayo, Mrs Nhamo Tshuma, made a very touching presentation on the road she has traversed to be where she is, and encouraged women and youths to come on board and improve the tourism sector.
“We have to deal with this one thing call fear, fear of the unknown, you fear to get a loan to do business hence we are where we are” she said.
No one should be left behind because tourism is one sector that generates foreign currency and cuts across all national economic sectors.
This year’s tourism Expo saw members of Parliament from the portfolio committee of environment coming to assess the proceedings.
During an interview with Post On Sunday at the end of the event, Honourable members of Parliament said the programme was good and more local players should also come and market their products.
“We have taken note of this event and saw the potential that this country has, but more needs to be done. We have 2.4 million visitors every year in Zimbabwe hence the need to work on our transport network”
“Air Zimbabwe needs to be revamped, aerodromes and railway line should be up and running if we believe industry will generate more income so that we can as well acquire new machinery and rehabilitate roads and facilities”
Mps however noted with concern the low turnout of local players both in tourism and manufacturing.
They noted the need for local business people to participate in these exhibition events and promised to submit to parliament what they had gathered and also share their recommendations.
This publication however noted that the energy sector was not well presented, as the tourism sector is one of the highest energy consumers and players in the renewable energy sector couldn’t find their way into this year’s Tourism Expo.
Most facilities in Zimbabwe are running for more than 18 hours with generators due to incessant power outages and a new way of dealing with these effects of climate change is going the renewable energy way but non of these exhibited at Sanganai/Hlanganani Tourism Expo.