The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) through its chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke has attacked some hoteliers for “sabotaging the government’s efforts.” This comes after some top hotel operators are reported to have asked buyers coming for the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo to pay for services. ZTA wants the buyers to be accommodated for free saying that country will benefit in the long run when those buyers recommend Zimbabwe to their countrymen. Kaseke went as far as saying that laws should be amended to make the hotels comply.
In an interview, Kaseke said:
All these cited expos and many others across the globe are supported mainly by tourism players. But in Zimbabwe, only Bronte Hotel and some small players from as far as Hwange have always been supportive of the cause of the expo, the so-called giants have been lukewarm.
Bronte Hotel sees value which unfortunately other players like RTG and African Sun don’t see. Surely, I don’t believe the hospitality industry is failing to provide accommodation and food to buyers that are coming to see their products.
In Kenya, industry players compete in a bidding process to host buyers because they know once they accommodate them they enhance their chances of being included in packages. How does the industry expect Government to do everything for them, including feeding the buyers?
The same would be said about other tour operators that are refusing to play ball. We have brought in buyers to see and familiarise with our products but again they expect us to pay for the delegates to sample those products. What a shame!
The industry has been sporadic in terms of supporting this fair. Going forward, we must amend the laws to force these operators in such cases where we bring delegates for destination marketing to make sure that they are exhorted to support such efforts.
More: Sunday Mail