African participants at the just concluded 105th UNWTO executive council meeting have hailed the spirited campaign by the African Union endorsed candidate Dr Walter Mzembi and have called for a more coordinated approach in future.

According to the participants, Africa has made a clear statement to the world that the continent has a bigger role to play in the global travel and tourism business.

The African continent is convinced that despite the narrow loss in the race to succeed the outgoing UNWTO Secretary General, Dr Taleb Rifai, the AU endorsed candidate Dr Mzembi did put up a good fight which has proved to the world the centrality of the continent as a key player in the global and tourism industry.

Zimbabwe Ambassador to Spain, France and Portugal who was also the spokesperson of the Zimbabwean Camp Ambassador, Rudo Chitiga has described the results as unfortunate adding that despite the loss their candidate fought a good fight.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke says the continent has made a bold statement that the world should view Africa as an important component of the global tourism industry.

Gambia’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr Hamat Bah is convinced that the global tourism sector has been denied of an astute and capable leader and called for more collaboration in future among African countries.

Dr Mzembi narrowly lost to Georgia’s candidate Zurab Pololikashvili 18-15.

He was endorsed as Africa’s candidate for the UNWTO Secretary General post by the 54-member AU, as well as the 15-member Southern African Development Community.