via UNWTO once in a lifetime chance by Southern Eye Editorial
ZIMBABWE will be the centre of attraction beginning this weekend as it welcomes delegates from over 150 countries attending the six-day United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in Victoria Falls.
The prime resort town and neighbouring Livingstone in Zambia, will from tomorrow host the biggest event ever on the international tourism calendar — the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly.
The tourism indaba is a golden opportunity, especially for Zimbabwe, to clear its battered image as the world’s tourism family will have first-hand experience of what the nation is all about.
Organisers say this year’s UNWTO conference would attract the highest number of delegates in the history of the organisation.
This is enough reason for Zimbabwe to feel proud.
Zimbabwe will not be able to host this event again in the next 360 years.
Everything is at stake, from image to business, as the two hosting countries seek to market their tourism brands as safe and worth visiting tourist destinations.
The UNWTO indaba is about unlocking the tourism value of Zimbabwe and Zambia’s tourist attractions to the world for long-term benefits.
Tourism players see the conference as a good platform to market Zimbabwe as a safe tourist destination and an image-booster.
Although most of the envisaged infrastructure projects such as the construction of a world-class conference centre in Victoria Falls did not come into fruition, the hosting of the conference would leave a lasting legacy for the whole Matabeleland region.
Some of the benefits of hosting the event may not be immediately felt by the people, but the likely increase in the number of tourists visiting the majestic Victoria Falls and other attractions in the region would augur well for the economic recovery of Matabeleland.
Those in the tourism sector must take advantage of the conference to position themselves for the growth of the industry and the economy at large.
More importantly we must give the visitors reason to come back in future by showing them the hospitality we are renowned for.
I agree its time Zimbabweans prove their worth in their own back and no matter what people say if great will have a huge and positive effect to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabeans must work together to make this a historical event which promote tourism regardless of their political difference or what happened on the election.
What choice do we have? We want Whitey to keep giving us money even if we give him the finger half the time.
as zimbabweans we must work together nomater what.”only God knows.”
Its not about money, its not about colour, its not about political scores we want its about progress and the future of our nation, the inheritance that we leave our children with so the time of war of power its over lets build our nation with clarity
This event is much ado about nothing. What will it bring to the common man on the street, the unemployed youth? Will it bring power and water to our homes? Far from it its an event meant to spruce up Mugabe’s image and that of his cronies, giving them the much needed international limelight and hopefully legitimacy.
As a Zimbabwean I do not see the once in a life time chance being parroted here, am sorry!