UNWTO will help develop Zambia05 February 2013 Hits: 315
Deputy Minister of Tourism and Art David Phiri has said that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly will be a springboard for the development of tourism in Zambia.
Mr. Phiri led a six-member Zambian delegation on a 10-day tour to learn best practices in planning a global conference, creating partnerships, and using the conference as a springboard to develop Zambia's travel and tourism industries.
Zambia and Zimbabwe will co-host the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly from 24th to 29th August, this year.
“This is the conference that will help give Zambia visibility. We want to capitalize on this conference to benefit our country in long term,” the Deputy Minister said.
Mr Phiri said his Government had declared the tourism sector as a key segment for the diversification of the Zambian economy.
“Through the tourism sector, we want to create 350, 000 jobs within the next three or four years,” he said.
Mr Phiri explained that the US Government is helping Zambia with the know-how on managing mega global conference.
“The US is an important market for tourism and we have taken advantage of our coming here to market Zambia to the American community. I have no doubt in my mind that the response arising from this engagement is going to begin to take root,” said Mr Phiri.
And UN chief of conference for the World Tourism Organization (WTO) Munir Reyes said Zambia need to do more as the general conference gets nearer.
Reyes has led a team of inspectors to assess Zambia's readiness to co-host the general conference with Zimbabwe.
He said the commitment showed in hosting the conference is encouraging and that Zambia has lot of tourist attraction.
Reyes also noted that the infrastructure put in place is encouraging ahead of the conference and hoped everything will soon be in place.
“We are impressed by level of coordination and good will shown throughout our visit. The modern infrastructure and the tourism attractions are good. You just need to keep working on the preparations,” he said.