EU delegation arrives

02 Jun, 2014 - 00:06 0 Views
EU delegation arrives

The Herald


Members of the European Union Council on Tourism who are in Zimbabwe to present two tourism awards pay their respects to fallen heroes at the National Heroes Acre in Harare last Friday

Farai Kuvirimirwa and Macdonald Mudzaki
A five-member European Union Council on Tourism and Trade delegation is in Zimbabwe to officially handover to President Mugabe two awards Zimbabwe won recently.The council, which consists of 27 EU tourism organisations, chose Zimbabwe as the best tourism destination for 2014 as well as the world’s most preferable cultural destination after the country successfully co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference with Zambia in August 2013.

Speaking after touring the National Heroes Acre in Harare and ex-Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono’s New Donnington Farm in Norton on Friday, EUCTT president Professor Anton Caragea said Zimbabwe’s peaceful environment was conducive for maintaining its status as the best tourism destination in Africa.

“Our main issue is to honour Zimbabwe as the best tourist destination for 2014 and the country was elected and cherished for its diverse culture and natural beauty. Zimbabwe is a beacon of tourism and a symbol of the African renaissance,” said Prof Caragea.

Prof Caragea and his group toured the national shrine to pay respects to Zimbabwe’s liberators.

“Few people in Europe know Zimbabwe was involved in a fight for freedom which contributed to the end of imperialism in the southern African region,” he said. “We appreciate and congratulate the continent for attaining 50 years of African freedom. We anticipate the country in the future to complete the revolution by exporting tobacco as end products and not in their raw form which can be achieved by bringing Cuban experts who can advise on making cigars.”

Prof Caragea said they would present the two accolades to President Mugabe on Wednesday.

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Nicholas Goche expressed his hope that the delegation’s visit would help present a truer picture of Zimbabwe to the world.

“We are fighting an economic struggle and friends are coming in so that they will tell the truth about the country. We are grateful for the award and honour bestowed on our country and it is a big achievement.

“There have been unfavourable Press reports and it is an opportunity to judge on the real situation on the country. You are free to tour farms as part of agricultural tourism,” said Minister Goche.

New Donnington group chief operating officer Mr Velenjani Lupankwa said the farm currently produced 300 000 eggs per day and was working to reach one million by 2016.

The farm produces six thousand tonnes of soya beans and 16 thousand tonnes of maize per harvest for organic chicken feed.

The delegation consisted of director of the European Tourism Academy Mr Mircea Constantinescu, EUCTT director for hospitality and amenities Mr Loan Matei, Romanian senator Mr Lonel Agrigoroaiei and chairman of the trade committee Mr Mihai Prundianu. They were accompanied by Tourism and Hospitality Industry Deputy Minister Brigadier-General (Retired) Walter Kanhanga and ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke.


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