Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe addresses travel and tourism professionals. Credits: by Doug Bardwell ©2011

Doug Bardwell
October 16, 2011

A combined bid from Zimbabwe and Zambia helped land 2013 event

A scream came from the front of the bus, then hands waving in the air, followed by bouncing up and down on the seat. This was Felicia Munjaidi’s response to hearing the news yesterday that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) selected Zimbabwe and Zambia to jointly hold the 2013 General Assembly at Victoria Falls.

According to Munjaidi, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority had worked very hard lobbying for yesterday’s vote. They thought they had an excellent chance, but until it was official, they had to keep their emotions in check. Once the decision was announced, all those hopes and prayers were realized and it was time to let those emotions come to the surface. Zimbabwe and Zambia had prevailed over the other finalists, Russia and Qatar.

One day prior, Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe was addressing the crowded Harare International Conference Center where hundreds of travel and tourism professionals were gathered. The Sanganai Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair was being held in Harare and attracted an international attendance of tour operators, destination representatives and media.

During Prof. Mutambara’s stirring talk, he pointed out all the reasons why he felt Zimbabwe was the logical choice to host the general assembly. From their natural resources to the friendliness of their people, it was time for Zimbabwe to show the world what their country offers in the way of tourism.

“When people visit each other,” he said, “they propagate peace and understanding. Tourism can really help resolve some of the world’s problems by helping to instill mutual respect.”

If the tourism industry is half as excited about showing off the country as Prof. Mutambara is, the world will have a lot to look forward to in 2013.

[Similar to Niagara Falls in North America, where the falls separate Canada from the United States, Victoria Falls separates Zambia and Zimbabwe. A convenient bridge connects both sides, enabling visitors to easily see the falls from either side.]

Doug Bardwell, based in Cleveland, OH, writes about travel destinations and sustainability topics across the country and around the world. Feel free to drop him a line at travel.dougbardwell@gmail.comwith suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the “Subscribe” button above or follow him on Twitter @photodb. To read Doug’s disclosure notice, click here. To see his travel photo collection, see