UNWTO preparations impresses Diplomats
Livingstone, May, 24, ZANIS —— Some Diplomats accredited to Zambia are impressed with the preparations done so far in readiness for the United Nation World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) to be co-hosted between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo says Zambia and Zimbabwe have finally launched a website where delegates to the UNWTO can register online.
During the minister’s meeting with diplomats accredited to Zambia at Zambezi Sun Hotel yesterday, several foreign envoys said the preparation done in Livingstone were impressive buy emphasized the need to speed up the works.
United States Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella said the preparations such as the agreement on granting of gratis visa (free visas) to delegates into the two countries and road rehabilitations were some of the major achievements in the preparations.
He however, noted that construction of the new terminal at the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport should be speeded up so that the airport can handle more visitors and cargo.
Mr Storella also urged the two countries to continue investing in infrastructure development even after the UNWTO.
“I passed through the border yesterday without any need for formalities and I think the concept of seamless between the two countries to facilitate easy travel of delegates is a great idea and overall, the preparations are impressive except for infrastructure development which needs to be quickened up,” said Mr Storella.
He also noted that the marketing of the Victoria Falls was a remarkable idea which would help to propel tourism between the two countries during and after the prestigious event.
In a vote of thanks, Zimbabwean Ambassador to Zambia Livmoure Mazemo said the meeting gave envoys an opportunity to know the progress made in preparing for the event.
“We have just been gleaning this information from the media and I think this has been a good opportunity for us to know how far we have gone in the preparation for the event,” Mr Mazemo said.
And Ms Masebo said website has been created to facilitate online registration of all delegates to the UNWTO adding that the online registration will be closed by 24th July, 2013.
The Minister also said accreditation of delegates will be done at the Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airports and the conference venues.
Government has engaged another South African Company to set up a dome (Auditorium) which will be set up five days before the event to offer extra conference facilities to delegates during the event.
Ms Masebo also said government has partnered with several airlines to provide affordable and direct flights to Livingstone during the event.
Meanwhile, Ms Masebo said the co-hosting of the UNWTO would give government the impetus to construct convention centres for similar events in future.
She said so far several companies have expressed interest to construct an international convention centre which would be called legacy convention centre.
“I think the event will give the government impetus to construct an international convention centre and Iam glad to say that several companies have already shown interest to construct it,” said Ms Masebo.
The tourism Minister further urged the diplomats to help market the country’s tourism potential to their respective countries.
The 20th Session of the UNWTO whose slogan has been coined as, “The Beat is Here” is expected to attract more than 4,000 delegates.