UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai says he is confident that the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly will be a great success.
‘‘Signs are everywhere to show that the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe will be a great success,” Mr Rifai said.
He was speaking at a media briefing at Victoria Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe yesterday on his arrival from the UNWTO Secretariat in Spain. Mr Rifai, who arrived around 13.00 hours aboard a British Airways aircraft, was received by Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Walter Mzembi, Zambia’s Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Peter Kasanda, Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary George Zulu and his counterpart from Commerce, Trade and Industry Stephen Mwansa.
Zimbabwe’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry Permanent Secretary Margaret Sangarwe was also on hand to receive Mr Rifai.
“This year’s conference will be one of the best general assemblies that the UNWTO has ever had before. Registration has been very high and we have never seen a high number of delegations and ministers in previous general assemblies and this is a sign of great success,” Mr Rifai said.
|Fast facts about UNWTO:|
|Dates||24th – 29th August 2013|
|UNWTO Secretary General||Taleb Rifai|
|Opening Ceremony||Victoria Falls Hotel|
|When was Rifai elected as Secretary General||12 May 2009|
|Where is he based||Spain|
|Where was he born||Jordan|
He said the general assembly was an important event not only for Zambia and Zimbabwe but for Africa and the rest of the world.
“It is a pleasure and honour for me to be here again. We are very happy that you all supported the event and we look forward to its successful hosting,” he said.
Commenting on the recent Zimbabwe elections in which President Robert Mugabe was re-elected, Mr Rifai said it was clear that the will of the Zimbabwean people prevailed.
“We are here to celebrate the event which coincides with the experience that the people of Zimbabwe went through and we are happy that the coincidence takes place here.We are delighted that elections went in a very civilised and smooth way. The will of the Zimbabwean people prevailed and it was clear,” he said.
Mr Mzembi said the two countries were confident that they would showcase the best during the General Assembly starting this weekend.
Date: 23 August 2013