UN tourism defends decision to convene in Zimbabwe

vicfallsThe United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defended its decision to hold its General Assembly in Zimbabwe.

Speaking to the media at Victoria Falls, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai says the agency wanted to bring hope to Zimbabweans.

“We as the secretariat feel that it was correct and it was the right decision to come here and if you need the reason go walk in the streets of Livingstone and Victoria Fall.  Ask the children, the men and women how do they feel about it and how much it has impacted their lives.  It is exactly what we are here to do, we are not here to deliberate on grand issues, we can do that anywhere else in the world but the excitement, optimism and the hope, that this meeting has created in this place makes everything worthwhile,” says Rifai.

On Sunday President Robert Mugabe officially opened the 20th UNWTO General Assembly in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Delegates from 150 countries will attend the seven-day event which Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting.