International tourism indaba countdown clock mounted


THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly countdown clock has been officially mounted in Victoria Falls with 264 days left for the opening of the international tourism indaba as preparations to host the event gather momentum in the country’s premier tourism resort town.


The development came as government reportedly released $80 million to help the local authority to spruce up its roads.

Although Victoria Falls mayor Nkosilathi Jiyane could not be reached for comment, NewsDay has it on good authority that government had released the money to rehabilitate the town’s roads ahead of the indaba which will be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia next August.

“Everything is under control,” said a member of the local organising committee who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The money released to council will be used to resuscitate roads which are in bad shape. We are grateful to the government for the commitment to host the event because every effort is being made to spruce up the town so that come next year, everything will be ready and it will be time to roll.”

As the preparations for the UNWTO convention gather momentum, the organisation’s international inspectors are expected back in the country in January to assess progress three months after conducting a similar tour. The government launched the official countdown to the UNWTO conference in June with a countdown gala being held in the resort town.

This came after Parliament had ratified a $90 million Chinese loan facility to upgrade Victoria Falls Airport where progress has been made in the construction of a new four-kilometre runway.

Last month, Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who is chairperson of the Cabinet committee on the hosting of the international tourism indaba, expressed satisfaction with the overall programme after touring facilities in the resort town.