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Zim tourism minister briefs AU on UNWTO

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Harare  – Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi on Monday briefed the Africa Union on the progress that has been made towards the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Assembly to be held in Victoria Falls in August.

Mzembi together with the Zambian deputy Minister of Tourism, David Phiri, lobbied the AU member states to attend the Assembly which is being held jointly by Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe goverment confirmed that the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, will visit both Zimbabwe and Zambia from May 28 to 30 this year.

Rifai confirmed his visit to the two countries during a meeting held in Berlin, Germany on the sidelines of an International Tourism Bourse recently.

He was meeting Mzembi and his Zambian counterpart,Given Lubinda.

Rifai said he was impressed by the report he received from the UNWTO inspection team that assessed facilities and progress in Zambia and Zimbabwe a fortnight ago.

“We received with satisfaction the news that the inspection team is happy with preparations to date. “We look forward to all preparations being concluded satisfactorily ahead of the General Assembly,” he was quoted on the Zimbabwe government website.

According to the website, Mzembi said the 20th session’s success would be measured by the absolute turn out of the 200 member countries and 400 business affiliate organisations to the UNWTO.

The UNTWO general assembly will run from August 24 to 29 August 2013.

Mzembi said the event should be branded as uniquely African.

The Victoria Falls meeting will also see the election of the new secretary general with Zimbabwe throwing its weight behind Rifai’s candidature.

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