We need enough accommodation for UNWTO – Masebo

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TOURISM
Zebra

MINISTER of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo has directed the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly organising committee to ensure there is enough accommodation for non-official delegates and tourists during the event.
Zambia and Zimbabwe will be co-hosting the mega event from August 24 to 29, 2013 in Livingstone and Victoria Falls Town, respectively.
Ms Masebo said yesterday she does not want to see people who will travel to the tourist capital to participate in the event in unofficial capacities getting stranded without accommodation just because they are not delegates.
She directed the local organising committee to carry out a survey and list all the facilities that are not part of the seven hotels captured for official lodging for the delegates so that people are made aware of their availability.
Ms Masebo was speaking at the Zambezi Sun International Hotel in Livingstone when she officially opened a consultative meeting for the national steering committee and local organising committee.
She also directed the secretariat of the local organising committee to block, grade and put on Zambia’s official national website all the rooms at the seven official venues selected for official delegates.
“But you also have to take into consideration that there are other hotels and lodges that are here in Livingstone.
“So you take note of them. I am told there are a thousand nine hundred (1,900).  Inspect them, grade them, classify and categorise them and put them on our official website for Zambia,” Ms Masebo said.
She said there is need to ensure that there is enough information on the non-official accommodation because the delegates who will travel to Livingstone will be there in different capacities.
“So if we are organisers we must think about those people. You don’t just think about your [official] delegates who are going to come and think that because they are comfortable the event is successful, and someone who travels for the event from Kasama gets here he has nowhere to sleep and has no proper information and is stranded and is sleeping on the streets,” Ms Masebo said.
She said the government has an obligation to ensure that everyone coming to Livingstone for the event, as a tourist or just a traveller, a participant, an observer or a citizen of Zambia who wants to be part and parcel of what their government is doing, is also able to go to the national website and know where accommodation is available.
Ms Masebo also used the occasion to explain that there are some projects that are not directly related to the UNWTO general assembly which Government has lined up to take advantage of the mega event.
Such projects, she said, should not be confused with those directly related to the co-hosting of the event.
She cited the planned construction of a tourism university in Chief Mukuni’s area, a convention centre and a stadium as some of the projects which are not connected to the general assembly, but which Government will implement as part of the legacy of the event.
Ms Masebo also urged the national steering committee and the local organising committee to come up with a system that will harmonise the planning and implementation of UNWTO related projects.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Can you tell us more about this? I’d care to find out some additional information.

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