The 20th session of the United Nations Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) entered its third day yesterday at the Victoria Falls.
Malawian President Joyce Banda who arrived in Vic falls on Monday congratulated Zimbabwe and Zambia on their co hosting of the event. She said: UNWTO event is a success for the SADC community.
Banda is attending the event in her capacity as the Chairperson of SADC.
Banda said the UNWTO General Assembly is a unique opportunity for Africa to sell its brand to the world.
“It is a unique spot for the whole of SADC (Southern African Development Community),” Zimbabwean news agency New Ziana quoted Banda as saying.
Banda said Africa must benefit from growth in the tourism industry, echoing similar calls by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at the official opening of the event late Sunday.
President Mugabe said it was important to ensure that the continent enjoys a larger cake of global tourism receipts from the current four percent.
|Fast facts about this year’s UNWTO attendance:|
|Full delegates||121 from member states|
|Delegates from worldwide||140|
|Delegates from the media and private sector||900|
“The current situation where Africa only has four percent of global tourism revenue in spite of its massive natural and cultural resources is a matter of great concern to us,” he said.
Global tourism receipts amounted to US$1.08 billion last year.
The first plenary of the UNWTO 20th General Assembly started on Monday and Zimbabwe`s outgoing Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi delivered a welcoming speech.
Delegates were engaged in a closed Ministerial Roundtable session which took place at the Elephant Hills Hotel.
This session of UNWTO is the biggest one ever hosted in terms of numbers of delegates. It attracted participation from 121 full delegates from member states, 140 delegates from worldwide, 750 other delegates, 900 delegates from the media and private sector, and 49 foreign Ministers.Banda told the Ministerial Round table that “SADC is committed to the idea of a uni-visa”.
Date: 27 August 2013