Mzembi challenges tourism sector ahead of UNWTO General Assembly

Zimbabwe needs to ensure that tourism facilities in the country meet international standards as the country prepares to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi has said.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi

Zimbabwe and Zambia will co-host the UNWTO General Assembly from 21-28 August in Victoria Falls this year.

“With the hosting of the UNWTO approaching, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority needs to ensure that they benchmark at the prevailing world class standards if we are going to host a successful UNWTO General Assembly.

“I am pleased that their vision for the General Assembly is “A uniquely African General Assembly-the best organised General Assembly ever held”. In order to archive that, we need to work on raising our standards to the requisite level now,” said Mzembi.

Mzembi was speaking during a tour of Meikles Hotel in the capital. The hotel is currently going through a major $8,5 million refurbishment exercise which is part of efforts to bring it in sync with international standards.

Mzembi said government has the obligation to play a facilitative role and make it easier for operators to import the necessary vehicles and other items that enable them to meet world standards and be competitive.

“I look forward to seeing strategies and action plans that will ensure that going forward, we will offer service of the highest quality during the General Assembly and beyond. On the question of standards, the ball falls squarely in the ZTA’s court.

“They need to go out there and ensure that set standards are met by all players in the industry. It is pleasing that Meikles Hotel is focusing on those very issues that are critical as we prepare for the UNWTO General Assembly,” said Mzembi.

Speaking at the same function, Meikles Hotel Managing Director, Karl Snater said: “There have been many encouraging signs of renewed growth in travel and tourism and we look forward to increased interest in Zimbabwe as a destination for travellers.”

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