karikoga kaseke 22-03-11ed.jpgPreparations for the hosting of the Africa Travel Association (ATA) congress in Victoria Falls in May as a precursor to the UNWTO General Assembly conference are at an advanced stage with the congress expected to attract leading tourism experts from across the globe.

The 5-day congress will kick-off in Victoria Falls on Friday the 18th of May.

Among the expected 300 participants are tourism ministers, tourism board heads, private sector leaders, travel industry professionals, including product buyers and sellers, the media, scholars and African Diaspora leaders.

In an interview, ZTA Chief Executive Karikoga Kaseke said Zimbabwe stands ready to host the ATA 37th annual congress as a way of testing how ready the country is to host the UNWTO General Assembly in 2013.

“It’s time for us to market Zimbabwe, also known as ‘a world of wonders’, which boasts a wide array of attractions, including its own seven wonders: (1) People and culture; (2) History and heritage; (3) Great Zimbabwe (grand medieval palace); (4) Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya); (5) Wildlife and nature; (6) Eastern Highlands; and (7) Lake Kariba.


“Delegates will sample some of these wonders during the Host Country Day and by participating in pre and post congress tours.  Minister Mzembi after the congress will preside over ATA for a year as the President,” said Mr Kaseke.

Established in 1975, ATA is one of the leading global trade associations promoting travel and tourism to Africa.

The congress last came to Zimbabwe in 1988 while last year, Dakar, Senegal was the host.

Meanwhile, the visiting UNWTO team which toured the facilities for the general assembly in Victoria falls and Livingstone said they are satisfied with the two countries’ preparations for the 2013 event.