UNITED Nations World Tourism Organisation inspectors are expected for a third assessment of designated tourist facilities in Zambia and Zimbabwe as the final countdown to the August 24-31 2013, general assembly gathers momentum. In an interview yesterday Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Mr Karikoga Kaseke said the inspectors will jet into Zambia today.
They would crossover to Zimbabwe two days later.
The inspectors, said Mr Kaseke, had already sent a checklist of things they would be looking for.
“The inspectors arrive on Monday August 27 on the Zambian side and inspect the designated facilities there before crossing over to our side two days later on August 29 and will finish their inspection on August 31.
“They are bringing with them a pricing regime that should apply specifically for the UNWTO family during the general assembly, a copy of which I already have given to hotel managers in Victoria Falls for their consideration.
“The hotels for designated for this event range from three to five star ones. On the price regime is an accommodation rate for at least one three star hotel to charge below US$100 per person per night and we have approached one hotel to do that. I mean to charge US$95 and they want to see it.
“The other one is for all hotels including the five star ones to charge below US$200 per night per person. So we will work on these prices. It is not difficult to implement, after all it’s only for a week,” he said.
Mr Kaseke urged the tourism industry to market Victoria Falls vigorously and get the lion’s share of the UNWTO delegates.
“Co-hosting does not mean proportion delegates. I would want 90 percent of the delegates to stay in Zimbabwe but the Zambians would want the same.
“We therefore, need to put our house in order and market seriously so that we get the biggest share,” he said.
We all need to work for the lion’s share otherwise we get nothing out of it,” he said.
This is the third inspection by the UNWTO since Zimbabwe won the bid to co-host with Zambia the 2013 General Assembly.
The first inspection was done in the last week of February in which the team led UNWTO executive director Mr Zottan Smoggy expressed satisfaction with the progress.
UNWTO secretary general Mr Talib Rifai also personally inspected the main venue on the Zimbabwean side, The Elephant Hills Hotels, when he came to sign a trilateral agreement with President Mugabe and his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata in March.
Meanwhile Victoria Falls resort started the final countdown on Friday with a music gala headlined by Sungura musician Sulumani Chimbetu and gospel diva Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave.
Herald of Zimbabwe