GOVERNMENT will intensify efforts to lure conferences to Victoria Falls riding on the back of a successful 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), outgoing Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister, Walter Mzembi has said.
Zimbabwe and Zambia are on a crest after the 20th session, that ended last week, was described as the best in 38 years, in terms of attendance by UNTWO secretary general Taleb Rifai.
“Victoria Falls will never be the same gain. We want to sustain everybody who ensured that the event was a success. We will go and bid for conferences,” Mzembi said.
Mzembi said the co-hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly had brought with it opportunities and Zimbabwe has already bagged two meetings slated for next year.
A blood transfusion Africa conference will be held in Victoria Falls as well as the 9th Routes Africa forum.
Routes Africa is a forum in which aviation and tourism representatives meet to explore opportunities in line with the growth of their industries on the continent.
Mzembi said the ministry was also exploring twinning Victoria Falls with Cape Town and Durban to collaborate on meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (mice).
“If we are serious about collaborations, Indaba should be partnering Sanganai,” he said.
Indaba is the continent’s largest tourism expo in Durban annually. Sanganai/Hlanganani is Zimbabwe’s leading tourism and travel expo that has managed to attract European and Asian buyers among others.
He said the conference facility which hosted the General Assembly will undergo some makeovers including a new foundation. In the medium-term, government would audit each province to see what facilities were there to be used for meetings and conferences.