Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is taking part in the Tourism Expo Japan, as the country works on increasing tourist traffic from the Asian country.
The Expo which kicked off on Thursday and is ending today, is organised by the Japan Travel and Tourism Association, Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) and Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO.) Running under the theme: “Taking on the New Era,” the prestigious travel trade event is attended by key tourism players from the world over, while offering Zimbabwe an opportune moment to reactivate tourism and create demand for the country as the world reopens. ZTA chief executive officer Ms Winnie Muchanyuka said Zimbabwe’s presence at the Expo was one of the ways of attracting the Japan market.
“In 2018 Zimbabwe received a total of 34 214 tourists signalling a great potential that the Japan market has. There is a need to intensify our marketing efforts through active participation at fairs such as these as they generate travel interest for our destination thereby regaining the market share that was lost during the Covid-19 period,” said Ms Muchanyuka.
She said the Tourism Expo Japan was one of the leading travel shows on the Asian calendar that offers both business to business (B2B) and business to consumers (B2C) networking opportunities targeting Asia’s leading travel trade and consumer outbound travel operator. The fair was last held in 2019 and it attracted 1 500 companies from over 100 countries and a total of 250 000 visitors.
Ms Muchanyuka said 12 countries from the Southern region were exhibiting under the Sadc banner and these are Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Angola and Tanzania.
“It is exhilarating to note that Zimbabwe has attended this year’s edition of Tourism Expo Japan in a much bigger way.”
The Expo comes at a time preparations for the 15th Edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo are well on course to be held from 13 to 15 October taking place at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo. About 100 buyers and 250 exhibitors from regional and international markets have registered to be part of the premier business exchange platform.