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UNWTO candidate Mzembi: World tourism leadership against all odds

UNWTO candidate Mzembi: World tourism leadership against all odds

The hard-working UNWTO Secretary General candidate and Minister of Tourism and Hospitality for Zimbabwe, Hon. Dr. Walter Mzembi, continues another world tour. His ongoing trip already took him to attend meetings and trade shows in the Middle East, Iran, India, and now in Istanbul. In this European/Asian city, he is participating in the ongoing World Tourism Forum under the patronage of the Turkish Presidency.

The Former British Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, and now President and Chief Executive of the International Rescue Committee, and Randi Zuckerbag, Founder of Zuckerbag Media; Dr. Michael Frenzel, WTTC Chairman; Jack Straw, former Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and Zach King are some of the keynote speakers in Istanbul.

Mzembi tells his Facebook friends: “I will be catching up with international trends on contemporary issues from border security, social media and digital outputs, MICE industry, telecommunications, sustainability, and ecotourism, to shopping travel.”

His philosophy: “A good UNWTO Secretary General is one who submits to the expertise and knowledge of others and takes notes to sharpen his vision for global tourism!”

Minister Mzembi has been doing this against all odds knowing very well the challenges Zimbabwe brings to some parts of the world.

Trying hard to put local politics on a different plate, the Zimbabwe Minister had been demonstrating to be more than a local candidate. Touring the globe, listening to regional issues in countries and regions around the globe, coming up with workable solutions, made him a go-to person with a truly global view on the world of tourism. For some time, he has demonstrated to be a global leader with a global view, making him an ideal candidate able to put his role as a global player, and his role as a tourism minister of a country, with challenges separate. He demonstrated to bring growth to the Zimbabwe Tourism industry while he managed to equally focus on solutions not only for his home country. Inclusivity had been a big factor looking at his Facebook “likes.”

In addition to anonymous support that Mr. Mzembi was able to get from the African Union, the Minister made many friends also in countries that had been known to be firm critics with sanctions in place against the Minister’s home country, Zimbabwe. Many say he is a promising leader for the next generation of Zimbabweans, and he is giving this gift of vision to the next generation for world tourism. As one of the longest-serving ministers in the world, he is young enough to take this task on but experienced enough to understand the complexity of the world.   He is able to improvise and lead against all odds, making him a down-to-Earth player who is not afraid to say what he thinks.

He is well liked. Gavin Rennie, a former professional cricket player for Zimbabwe and now a travel agent and tour operator in North America, wrote on Mzembi’s Facebook today: “Looking the part sir! PLEASE convince Turkish to fly into Zimbabwe… I’m in North America selling Zimbabwe travel. Direct access with Turkish would make an enormous difference!” The Minister responded immediately: “Meeting the Minister tomorrow. Will pitch.”

Zimbabwe journalist, Stanley Kwenda, posted on his Facebook: “Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Dr. Walter Mzembi’s bid to become the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will face one fundamental question raised by his competitor, former Seychelles Tourism Minister, Alain St.Ange, in an interview with BBC this afternoon. He said it’s time for an African to take over but it must be an African who can communicate easily with the rest of the world. Where does our relations with the rest of the world leave Walter Mzembi’s chances? A good number of high-spending tourists come from the US, China, and Europe. Make no mistake, Minister Mzembi is a very competitive candidate ,but he will face these challenges along the way to the top post.

Going against all odds may just make Dr. Walter Mzembi an ideal candidate to lead UNWTO into another phase.


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