THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly (UNWTO) has allocated a further $80,000 to Victoria Falls town for legacy projects as a pat on the back for successfully co-hosting the historic UNWTO General Assembly in 2013.
Victoria Falls co-hosted the event with Livingstone in Zambia and were promised $47,500 each for legacy projects.
UNWTO technical corporations’ manager Marcel Leijzer last week visited Victoria Falls with a delegation from Spain and announced an additional $80, 000.
While $47, 500 will be used to upgrade a swimming pool into a state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility that will boost tourism by attracting international events, the $80, 000 is meant for youth and women projects.
“We are glad to announce a grant of $80, 000 meant for youth and women legacy projects here in Victoria Falls. This adds to the $47,500 that is set to come for legacy projects,” said Leijzer before crossing to Livingstone on a similar mission.
He said the legacy projects are “a good initiative since we only have swimming pools at hotels. This will bring tourists closer to people.”
In 2014, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi, announced the legacy projects but the money has not been released yet.
The Victoria Falls business community suggested that the money be used to construct a swimming pool with a multi-activity facility to attract world competitions and boost tourism.
Receiving the offer, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Florence Nhekairo, who was represented by the director of international tourism, Francisca Ziyambo, said the legacy projects would transform the resort town.
“The two projects will transform Victoria Falls and the country in years to come. We are grateful to the UNWTO for the sponsorship which will enhance youth and women participation in tourism,” she said.
Nhekairo said the projects will boost tourism in line with Zim-Asset.
Chairperson of the Victoria Falls legacy committee, Olga Mutamba, said the money was overdue since the announcement two years ago.
“We hope this visit will lead to the release of the funds so that we start work on the ground. We are waiting for signing of the agreement to release funds,” she said.
Victoria Falls, which government wants to transform into a conference capital, has been hosting international conferences but reaping minimal benefits.
It has CHOGM Park, which was constructed after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Summit and Emaplankeni, a brainchild of Comesa, as post-summit legacy projects. The town hopes to ride on legacy projects for development.
Source: Victoria Falls receives $ 80, 000 UN boost (12/06/16)