Exhibitors at the 2019 Sanganai/Hlanganani expo pulled out all the stops to showcase their wares. Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels
Bulawayo - The 12th edition of Zimbabwe's Sanganai/Hlanganani tourism expo got underway at Bulawayo Trade Show Grounds on Thursday with nearly 300 exhibitors, hundreds of foreign buyers and media from across the world in attendance.

The massive trade show, which is being staged in three halls, has been given the go-ahead to continue despite the country being in mourning for its former president Robert Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week.

Exhibitors ranging from major players in the national hospitality industry to international airlines and travel companies pulled out all the stops to give attendees at the three-day event a taste of what Zimbabwe's tourism industry has to offer.

Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels

The acting chief executive at the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Givemore Chidzidzi, said he was extremely pleased with the turnout of exhibitors as well as buyers, including 170 international buyers hosted by ZTA. 

Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels

According to Chidzidzi, prospective exhibitors are still trying to secure a stand at the event which has been dubbed "Africa's premier business exchange".

Godfrey Koti and Givemore Chidzidzi of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels
On Thursday morning a speed networking session saw hundreds of travel agents and buyers meet and interact. Apart from the various exhibitor stands, there are also cooking demonstrations and other interactive events planned for the coming days.

Picture: Lou-Anne Daniels

The opening day concluded with a buyers' cocktail party at the Zimbabwe Railway Museum.

Guests were transported to the museum from the main railway station in Bulawayo via steam train to the museum, where they were treated to live music and once again had an opportunity to interact with industry players.