World tourism forum on schedule – Mzembi

ZIMBABWEAN Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi says Zambia and Zimbabwe are ready to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly next year.

The conference is scheduled to be held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone towns from August 24 to 29 next year.

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Mr Mzembi said the two countries are on course and devising ways to effectively fund preparations which will gobble US$6 million.

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He said during a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday at State House that the two countries need to focus on preparations and talk less.

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Mr Mzembi said reports that the two countries will not afford to host the event are misleading, adding that with the current infrastructure in the two host towns, the event can even be hosted in March next year.

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Mr Mzembi said the two countries will work tirelessly to ensure that they host a memorable and unique general assembly.

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“I am here to engage the newly appointed Minister of Tourism Sylvia Masebo on preparations for the general assembly.

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“She (Ms Masebo) is new, so we quickly have to give her a soft landing on where we are with the preparations,” Mr Mzembi said.

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Mr Mzembi said UNWTO recently assessed the preparedness of the two countries to host the event and are satisfied with the coordination and work done so far.

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“Although there might be statements which may not be in consent with what me and minister (Masebo) are seeking to achieve for both Zambia and Zimbabwe and establishing legacies through our Presidents Sata and Mugabe, the UNWTO is the only endorsement on the state of our preparedness,” Mr Mzembi said.

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He said the last assessment of UNWTO in June this year indicated that the two countries are on course.

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Mr Mzembi said the next inspection by UNWTO will be conducted this month and there is need for the two countries to work extremely hard.

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“So for now, we have been rated to be in an excellent state of preparedness which should not be dismissed by anyone else but the UNWTO,” Mr Mzembi said.
And Ms Masebo said the two countries are on course and confident of hosting the event successfully. – Zambia Daily Mail