from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – ZIMBABWE’S seconding to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) is testimony to the confidence in the country as a destination.
This is also expected to promote Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector and steer the recovery of the tourism industry.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), through its Zimbabwe National Convention Bureau, secured the UFI membership as the country joins other leading African countries on the attractive global stage.
Rwanda and South Africa lead the exhibitions.
Givemore Chidzidzi, the ZTA acting Chief Executive, said UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry.
It represents around 50 000 exhibition industry partners globally.
“We’re excited about this new international membership with UFI which is the leading global association of the world’s tradeshow organizers, convention bureaus, exhibition centre operators, as well as major national and international exhibition associations and selected partners of the exhibition industry,” he said.
Some 77 associate members, representing different countries world over, endorsed Zimbabwe’s membership.
Some 913 UFI approved (International) exhibitions proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors.
“Zimbabwe will soon be visible on this international platform. We are pleased that our national exhibitions will soon feature on the UFI brand and attract the much-needed attendance from our source markets and beyond,” Chidzidzi said.
MICE has been a major draw card for tourism with the hospitality industry reaping big from conferences and meetings.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped meetings as governments restricted gatherings to less than 100 people.
Many resorted to virtual meetings.
In Zimbabwe, the popular exhibitions are Harare Festival of the Arts, Victoria Falls Carnival, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and lately the recently held Africa Eden Travel Show.
The MICE industry, which has been identified as key in tourism recovery, thrives on international memberships as these give access to international events that can be attracted into the destination, translating into international arrivals.
Chidzidzi said UFI membership will also largely benefit the exhibition industry, such as professional exhibition organizers, exhibition venues and suppliers who are interested in creating more visibility for their businesses on the international platform.
He challenged the industry to work with the government and ride on the membership as UFI provides exhibition organizers that meet the highest global standards with reliable, up-to-date statistics, international guiding practices and experiences.
Zimbabwe launched the National Tourism and Growth Recovery Strategy in 2020.
– CAJ News