Zim’s UNWTO preps on track
Saturday, 18 August 2012 01:38
ZIMBABWE will successfully co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)
general assembly next year despite negative statements about its preparedness, a Government official has said.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, said yesterday that he had been satisfied with the status of preparedness in Victoria Falls.
He was in the resort town to assess progress in the upgrading of infrastructure to be used during the general assembly.
A high-powered Government delegation accompanied Dr Sibanda.
He said the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe was ready and committed to hosting the international event.
“The business community is working closely with us,” said Dr Sibanda.
“Mayor (Councillor Nkosilathi Jiyane), we are assured by you as the chair of the Local Organising Committee that the business community is working closely with us.”
Dr Sibanda said the world should know that the event would take place as scheduled next year.
“Please, pass the message out there. It should be known that the event is going to take place despite what might have been said in the past,” he said.
“What I have seen makes me feel that we are definitely on course. There are hitches here and there, but we will overcome them.
“I am going to come back before the end of the year or early next year to review the state of preparedness again and I hope that we will start celebrating.”
Dr Sibanda implored Zimbabweans to do their bit for the success of thecongress and the country.
“I call upon the media to please write favourably about the country,” he said.
“Look at other countries, when they are preparing for big events, they work together, look at the just ended Olympics held in London, UK. The event was made special because the media in that country was speaking with one voice.”
Dr Sibanda said Victoria Falls would be spared from electricity load shedding during the congress.
The delegation toured the new runway site at the Victoria Falls International Airport, the proposed site of the convention centre and the Choghum Park site.
It also toured Victoria Falls district hospital, PSMI Medical Centre, the Victoria Falls road works between the border post and the Victoria Falls bridge, A’ Zambezi River Lodge, Kingdom Hotel, Victoria Falls SafariLodge and Elephant Hills resort.
Stakeholders assured Dr Sibanda that everything would be ready for the international event.
The tour comes two weeks before the second assessment visit by the UNWTO secretary-general Dr Taleb Rifai.