AFRICA Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive officer Ross Kennedy says tourism operators are looking forward to the success and legacy of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly to be held later this year.
In a statement, Kennedy said operators had come together courtesy of solid relations and through Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT) to take a common positive view on the congress and its potential benefits to Victoria Falls and the country at large.
AAT’s award winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, the RCI Gold Crown Resort Lokuthula Lodges and Victoria Falls Safari Club, according to Kennedy, were three of the company’s properties that were fully geared for the conference.
“We have invested in skills, upgrades, refurbishment, modernisation and renewing of products in preparation for an event of this scale, as well as to support the growth of tourism in our destination,” Kennedy said.
“The private sector is in key discussions and negotiations with the UNWTO technical team and conference organising team on planning, preparation and mutual agreement on rates and room allocations for the UNWTO period.
“The infrastructural upgrades taking place will benefit the region for years to come — and the single and most significant legacy is the runway and airport improvement which will, without question, position Victoria Falls as a key regional hub for 40–50 years to come.”
He said there was no doubt Victoria Falls had renewed and regained its status as a major African tourism hub.
Kennedy paid tribute to Tourism minister Walter Mzembi: “We are fortunate to have a minister who is full of positive energy and who is playing a forceful and critical role in shining a great light on the Zimbabwe tourism brand.
“We are looking forward to hosting various delegates and VIPs during the congress later in the year.”
AAT is a hospitality group that operates three divisions, namely hospitality, restaurants and parks.