Zimbabwe hosts first MICE forum, eyes Asian markets

MICE tourism has come onto the radar of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), which has ordered the development of a strategy to court business events, especially from Asia.

In line with the tourism bureau’s MICE ambition, the South African destination will host its first MICE Tourism Symposium today at The Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare.

Organised by ZTA and held during the ongoing World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair, the one-day forum seeks to position and promote Zimbabwe as a business event destination.

Discussions on ways to enhance Zimbabwe’s MICE capabilities and capacity will be conducted among global and local professionals and relevant stakeholders. Speakers include MICE veteran Gary Grimmer, chief executive of Gaining Edge; Dary Keywood, former president of SITE; and Daniel Chigaru, vice chairperson of Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company.

Responding to TTGmice e-Weekly’s questions via e-mail, ZTA’s spokesperson Nellia Nhauranwa said the NTO is banking on Gaining Edge’s Grimmer “who works extensively with the Asian market” to “unlock inroads into the (region)”.

Nhauranwa added: “Currently Zimbabwe has a presence in China and plans are underway to appoint an attaché and market representatives in other Asian countries.”

Besides China, ZTA has also reached into India this year through roadshows and meetings with incentive houses.

She said: “We are also talking to the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India and Travel Agents Federation of India to court them to host their conferences in Zimbabwe in 2014.”

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