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    Friday, 25 May 2018

    Number of exhibitors at Rovos Rail train drops




    SIPATHISIWE MATHAMBO 

    GWANDA - The number of people exhibiting at Gwanda for the Rovos luxury train bringing tourists from South Africa to Victoria Falls every Friday has dropped significantly since the beggining of this year, Raymond Mauba has said.
    Mauba who is the Rovos Rail train committee chairman in Gwanda told The Mirror in an exclusive interview that even the number of cultural dance groups that perform for the tourists when the train arrives have also significantly dropped.
    He urged residents of Gwanda and villagers from the district to take advantage of the large number of tourists brought by the train and bring in different cultural, artistic and other wares for exhibition and thereby get an income for themselves. He said that instead, it was the exhibitors who were from as far away places as Bulawayo who were taking advantage of the train service introduced in 2017.
    The Rovos Rail is a luxury train from Pretoria to Victoria Falls, stopping only in Gwanda with tourists disembarking and touring the souvenirs sold by the people from around Mat South. The locomotive passes through a rich and diverse Wildlife sanctuary of Hwange where animals can be spotted from the train.
    The train was commissioned by the Cultural Arts Artifacts Association of Gwanda though an official opening by his Worship the Mayor of Gwanda Clr Knowledge Ndlovu.
    "We need  more  exhibitors  from  Gwanda so that we can promote the small  mining town  as some exhibitors  are coming all the way  from  Bulawayo  yet we have  our own  local exhibitors who should be taking advantage of this great opportunity. The turnout of exhibitors is very low especially women. 
    "I have urged the Ministry of Women Affairs to urge women to come in numbers so that they exhibit and promote themselves by showcasing their products which are a hit with tourists.
    "At first we used to have a large number of performing groups including dance groups from local schools but the turnout has declined. Exhibitors pay $1 to Gwanda Town Council so that they can sell their goods at the station and are supposed to pay $5 to the Cultural Arts Artifacts Association," said Mauba.
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