Victoria Falls does Zimbabwe proud

The Africa Travel Association held its 37th congress Victoria Falls last week. Established as an international travel industry trade association in 1975 to promote travel, tourism and transport to and within Africa and to strengthen intra-Africa partnerships, ATA partners with the African Union Commission to promote the sustainable development of tourism.

Chief Mvuthu
Chief Mvuthu

At the official opening ceremony, Vice President Joice Mujuru, highlighted the theme ‘Africa – partnering for the future’ and encouraged the various stakeholders in the tourism industry to be open minded and to form alliances and partnerships both in business and culture for the growth of the tourism industry.

ATA Chief Executive, Edward Bergman said interest “has surpassed all expectations” with more than 400 delegates from around the world attending, including 16 government ministers from various African countries. He said the summit would be a powerful stimulus for Zimbabwe tourism “and will allow international tourism delegates, travel and tour operators and the international media to have a better understanding of the situation in the country and what it has to offer in terms of tourism.”

The ATA summit is a precursor to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly that Zimbabwe will co-host with Zambia at Victoria Falls in August 2013. ATA was formed in the USA in 1975 for the sole purpose of promoting tourism into Africa and the current summit provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase Zimbabwe’s “Wonders of the World” and unique diverse areas. On the Sunday delegates went out on the main road to attend and take part in a tree planting ceremony. This was a decision taken some three years back by ATA – to put back into the environment and planting trees is now officially recognized as one of the projects during their conferences.

Vic Falls - Hwange Community members and ATA delegates.
Vic Falls – Hwange Community members and ATA delegates.

over 2000 indigenous trees will be planted along the main road from Hwange into Victoria Falls, supported by the local Forestry Commission and to show Governments commitment to the conservation of local resources. The delegates then moved on to a local homestead headed by Mr Mpisi and were greeted in true warm Zimbabwean style with traditional song and dance, followed by a sumptuous feast prepared for all the guests and community.

In his welcoming remarks, Chief Mvuthu, told the delegates their visit would afford them the opportunity to experience Zimbabwean rural life and a taste of traditional dishes.

The congress gave our international counterparts the opportunity to experience the warmth, beauty and diversity of Zimbabwe’s people, cultures and amazing landscape.

Post published in: Environment

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