The just-ended United Nations tourism conference, which was touted as a huge success by the Zimbabwe government and U.N. officials, has turned out to be a major disappointment that left many small businesses in debt.
The bearer of this sad news was the state newspaper, the Chronicle, which reported that many hopeful businesses were “set to make heavy losses after the anticipated brisk business from delegates failed to materialize”.
The event took place at Victoria Falls and ended in Livingstone, Zambia, on Thursday, boasting attendance by over 1,200 delegates. But according to the Chronicle, “most entrepreneurs said they had not made any sales as no single delegate had visited their exhibition tent” by the second day of the conference.
The exhibition area was set up on the Elephant Hills Hotel golf course, with each business paying for exhibition space. Those from out of town also had to pay travel and accommodation expenses. Believing they would have many customers, many small businesses borrowed the money, and must now pay it back.
The Chronicle quoted one vendor who traveled from Chitungwiza as saying: “My expectations have not been met. I have been here for three days but I have not made a sale. Visitors are not coming here. I ordered stuff worth $600 and I was hoping to get $2,000, but so far I have nothing.”
Read more at allAfrica.com.