via ZIMBABWE IS PROCLAIMED WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 (TRAVPR.COM) BUCHAREST – May 3rd, 2014
The General Assembly of European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 TITLE TO REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE and to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE -FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.
On May 3, 2014 in a public séance of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, gathering representatives of tourism organizations from European continent has debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2014.
Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy had presented a report on the last year (2013) situation of the Award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION that was dedicated to People’s Democratic Republic of Laos and it was used accordingly with rules and regulations and have being proving highly efficient in attracting new tourists and investor`s. In 2013 Lao PDR had enjoyed a record number of tourists and the highest increase in the number of incoming tourist in the world with a staggering 8% increase during 2013/2014 being ranked NUMBER 1 COUNTRY in the world in the number of received tourists despite the world economic crisis.
Increase in investment, increase in tourism potential and number of foreign visitors was the positive outcome of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for Lao PDR, concluded professor dr. Mircea Constantinescu.
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea praised also the outstanding commitment and achievements on tourist of LAOS: in 2013, Lao PDR had registered major boost in international presence, only in Europe the number of companies presenting to tourist offers including sites from and trips to Lao PDR had increased from 1.500 companies and tour operators to more that 3.200 in less than a year.
On internet, from 20 million pages promoting Lao biodiversity and tourism facilities, the number has risen to more than 51 million pages, an increase without rivalry in the recent history of tourism marketing on internet.
Obtaining an 8% growth in tourism industry it also achievements unmatched by any other country in this time of hard hitting recession on a world scale, stated ECTT President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2014, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) presented the report titled: ZIMBABWE: THE PERFECT AFRICAN DESTINATION. A SEVEN WONDER IN TOURISM AND CULTURAL POTENTIAL proposing ZIMBABWE as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 and as receiver of FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION distinction for 2014.
Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 to ZIMBABWE the report outlined:
- The peerless organization of World Tourism Organization General Assembly in 24-30 August 2013, the world gathering of tourism experts comprising more than 120 countries.
The successful organizing of this world event, despite tremendous logistic and economic challenges, proves without a doubt the capacity of Zimbabwe authority and tourism industry to organize world level events and to host all level of tourism.
After the perfect support and creative vision in carving a successful world tourism meeting, ZIMBABWE has unequivocal demonstrated that is a safe, open and perfect managed tourism power house.
- The promotion and support offered to a new concept of community natural protection supporting tourism friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest south-African eco-climate.
Community based ecotourism protection carved by Minister Walter Mzembi is a perfect way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting their foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make eco-tourism as the base for an economic local development. Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering eco-friendly tourism it is a lesson that REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is offering to the world.
- Offering to tourists and outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Waterfall, the National Parks as: Mana, Eastern Highlands from Manicaland, Mana Basins from West Mashonaland, Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland, Chilojo Cliffs, and Matobo Hills from Bulawayo etc.
All this regions and natural parks are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized.
- The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Republic of Zimbabwe, the transformation of Harare in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of people`s of Zimbabwe
- The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: cultural, historical and rich legacy of Great Kingdom of Zimbabwe, the preservation of the former capital of Shone Kingdom-Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo area with a world class fortification system and palatial complex from 12th century, this are offering a rare insight for tourists into one of the greatest civilization of pre-colonial Africa and a rare window into traditions of centuries.
- Today, REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is creating and offering for tourists an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.
- – The preservation of cultural and natural sites of world significance and value such as: Great Zimbabwe National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Khami Ruins National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Matobo Hills (added to UNESCO list in 2003), Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (added to UNESCO list in 1984), Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls and UNESCO candidate regions as: Ziwa national monuments dating from Stone Age period with an incomparable contribution to world legacy.
- The REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is today a hot spot for adventure tourism offering a large area of regions suitable for this special kind of tourism and the necessary infrastructure to welcome adventure sicker, the safety structures and natural potential to rank amongst the top world adventure spots.
- Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE in a spiritual first class destination.
After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, from Romanian Parliament and Director of European Parliamentary Committee in European Council on Tourism and Trade had express the feeling’s of all present at the gathering declaring that: REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is the perfect candidate, with a perfect record of promoting eco-friendly tourism, ecological and social oriented tourism and that only a unanimity vote in favor of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE could express the unwavering European tourism and economic community support in favor of such a world model.
Mr. Victor Deleanu, ECTT rapporteur, presented also a report on ZIMBABWE: HOT SPOT OF ADVENTURE TOURISM reiterating the highest praises for the country safety record and infrastructure and hospitality industry achievements that are making Zimbabwe the perfect destination in Africa.
Mr. Mihai Prundianu, Chairman of Trade Mission of ECTT also highlighted the importance that today, when Africa is celebrated 50 years of African Unity, Europe must express his commitment and appreciation for Africa by crowning ZIMBABWE as FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION AND WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014.
In the end of the debate European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 TITLE TO REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE and to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE -FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.
It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE for a delegation of European high ranking official of European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Harare, in person, to His Excellency President of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE –ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE the most outstanding personality of today Africa.
Awarding the highest world tourism prize of European Council on Tourism and Trade, accepting the invitation for a working visit of high-ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade in REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, are all momentous and felicitous occasions that are offering the symbol of admiration that all tourism experts are having for the potential and future of tourism in REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE concluded at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade.
___________________ Postscript from Zimbabwe Situation___________________
Mana Pools National Park within the lower Zambezi’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and even larger UNESCO Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve faced its most recent threat (July 2012) which included proposals to explore the potential for mining within Mana Pools. Perhaps restrained during the long run up to last month’s UNWTO assembly the mining proposal has since been silenced. So with delegates gone, conservationists, environmental NGO’s, tourism associations and regional stakeholders watchfully uphold UNESCO’s far-sighted recognition of the Middle Zambezi as a critical and irreplaceable global asset.