Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will this year hold a virtual Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.

In a statement ZTA said it has taken the decision to adapt and create an immersive multi-media experience for businesses seeking to market their goods and services in a world locked down by Covid-19 restrictions.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will be holding its first ever virtual Sanganani/Hlanganani – World Tourism Expo exhibition from 22 to 23 October 2020. The Sanganai/Hlanganani Virtual platform will be one of the first of its kind to be hosted in Africa and promises to deliver a first-class platform for exhibitors and buyers.

The platform will feature interactive webinar sessions with professionals that are aimed at equipping the industry and the public with the latest tourism trends. The webinars will also touch on key issues that will include strategies to be employed by the industry to improve our capacity as a destination to recover and grow our sector during and post the COVID-19 era,” reads the statement.

ZTA said digital media platforms had offered the opportunity for the tourism sector which had been crippled by the Covid 19 induced lockdown.

“The virtual exhibition forms part of the Tourism Recovery Plan that with the aim of achieving a US$5 billion economy by 2025.  The Government recently reopened the tourism sector and this development is likely to boost both domestic and international visits to local attractions.

The last six months have been a trying time for the events and exhibitions industry with an uncertain future. However, with innovation or adaptation from exhibition organisers and venues. Digital platforms now offer greater opportunities and will break the crisis that had paralysed the tourism industry,” reads the statement.

This also comes at a time when Government had opened the tourism sector. The safari industry had been hard hit by the lockdown and travel restriction as a result of the outbreak of the novel corona virus.

The safari industry had also embraced virtual tourism through pay per view.

One of the players in the Industry Mr Emmanuel Fundira said virtual tourism was slowly penetrating the safari industry.

“We have embraced virtual tourism as the safari industry. We have also introduced pay per view in Zimbabwe and it is starting to pay off,” he said.