On March 18, 2015 will be celebrated for the second time, across the world, the International Day of World Protected Areas and National Parks.
After being held for the first time last year at the indications of European Council on Tourism and Trade Last, efforts are made to proclaim it as the International Day at the 70th General Assembly of United Nations (UN).
In 2014 the day was dedicated to the efforts in tourism and environmental protection of Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos and in 2015 the model of tourism and protection of national parks of Zimbabwe will be highlighted.
The Day of 18 March is to be marked every year to underline the importance of world protected areas and natural parks in the conservation of bio-diversity, in promoting environmental protection and awareness and avoiding economic exploitation and depletion of this areas.
H.E. ECTT President in the middle surrounded by Ambassadors of United Arab Emirates(left)-Yacoub Yousef al Hosani and Kazakhstan Ambassador-Talgat Kaliyev (right) in 2013
According to the decision from 18 March 2013 of European Council on Tourism and Trade President Office, each year on 18 March, the world will celebrate world protected areas and natural parks and will raise awareness of the importance of every country establishing such areas and register them in a word data base and to control the economic activities in this areas and also support and promote tourism in this areas as a powerful economic promotion tool.
The decision decree of European Council on Tourism and Trade President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea remarks the fact that: 18 March is a day of action, for the establishment and protection of world natural areas, for the promotion of bio-diversity, as a powerful promotion tool for tourism activities.
Also is worth considering that according to the executive order, all the tourism prizes and recognition offered by European Tourism Organization will have to incorporate the respect for world protected areas and natural parks.
The country celebrated today across Europe is the Republic of Zimbabwe, the receiver of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for 2014.
Zimbabwe had actively tackled the issue of natural areas protection and the title was regarded as an encouragement for continuing actions on the field of world natural protected areas.
The 2015 recipient of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION will also have to endeavor to promote bio-diversity protection or to support the establishment of natural protected areas and parks, as a tool for protecting nature and supporting sustainable development stated Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
The event held on 18 March 2015, had united under the title of International Day of World Protected Areas and National Parks more than 26 ambassadors and diplomatic envoys to the headquarter of European Council on Tourism and Trade.
The event contained a speech by Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, ECTT President reflecting the importance of world protected areas and natural parks, the screening of a movie regarding ZIMBABWE- WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 achievements on the field of natural conservation.
Other allocutions where held by Academician Mircea Constantinescu, European MP`s: Steliana Miron, Ionita Dan, Marcel Dumitru Bujor etc. and by presentations of the environmental situation in their country held by the ambassadors of Morocco, Malaysia, Macedonia and Cyprus etc.
The second world celebration of International Day of World Protected Areas and National Parks, inspired by Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-Goodwill Ambassador for World Protected Areas and National Parks was dedicated to attract the world attention to the issue of establishing and protecting natural areas and parks for the benefit of future generation and as an intricate part in sustainable development and in tourism development.
In the concluding part of the meeting a congratulatory message was adopted to President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the receiver of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD IN 2014 and the President of African Union urging further cooperation on tourism and environmental issues.
The relations between Europe and Africa were rapidly evolving in a positive direction after the visit of an important european delegation from the main EU tourism body of European Council on Tourism and Trade in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The main function was held in Zimbabwe capital, Harare, where the EU team had entrusted the world highest tourism order to The President of Zimbabwe in a lofty ceremony for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2014.
The visit made between 28 May-6 June 2014 by an European delegation headed by H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade was destined to restart the bilateral relation between Europe and the Republic of Zimbabwe and the southern region of Africa, a region in full economic development and with a long tradition of partnership with our country.
H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe-a true African hero and Professor Dr. Anton Caragea
During the visit Professor Dr. Anton Caragea was welcomed by H.E. President of Republic of Zimbabwe-Robert Gabriel Mugabe who stated that: is exuding with love and gratitude for the visit of Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.
President Robert Mugabe express his gratitude for Professor Dr. Anton Caragea continuous support in promoting Zimbabwe integration in international tourism arena and stated than: when others where plotting to punish us you think at rewarding us and make us friends. From the profundity of our heart: Tank you Professor !
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea at his turn praised president Mugabe stating that: the world did not forget the ten years spent in the dungeons of the colonial rule, the world did not forget the 20 years of revolutionary activity at the risk of the life and personal peace, spent in the opposition to the absurd regime of apartheid and segregation of Old time Rhodesia.
As we do not forget the word of reconciliation spoken after this years of struggle, ten years before Nelson Mandela similar example: “If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today you have become a friend,” “If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds me to you.”
We will never forget that 35 years ago from Harare you have called all nations of Africa to wake up from the long colonial sleep to a new and rich life of fulfillment`s.
Your name is and will be forever inscribed for me and for all the honest people of the world along the names of the fathers of free Africa:Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta etc. as a giant of liberation and freedom fight in Africa and the world.
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Professor Dr. Anton Caragea leading WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD ceremony
Other meeting where held by H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea with Hon. J.T.R Majuru- Vice-President of Republic of Zimbabwe, S.K.Moyo-Senior Minister (Prime Minister) of Zimbabwe, Hon. N. Goche-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi etc.
During the discussion, foreign policy cooperation, opening of honorary consulates and economic cooperation councils as well as economic and investment opportunities where tabled offering opportunity for European countries to take part in the business boom and bonanza of southern region of Africa and specially the Republic of Zimbabwe buoyant economic environment.
The European delegation enjoyed a sophisticated cultural program with visit to the History Museum of Harare, National Heroes Acre and to the wonderful UNESCO heritage site of Great Zimbabwe-the largest African palatial complex dating from XII century and covering 700 hectares and a chance to discover the world greatest cascade: Victoria waterfall.
In sign of honor Professor Dr. Anton Caragea occupied the Winston Churchill apartment in the famous Victorian hotel of Victoria Falls.
The high level visit, the first after a 25 year hiatus in bilateral relation offered to the parties the opportunity to table concrete cultural, tourism and cooperation projects and to highlight the bilateral support for the development of the social and political cooperation.
The Republic of Zimbabwe becomes now the main political and strategic partner in the region of southern Africa, offering innumerable opportunities for developing friendly ties.
Helicopter ride over ZambeziProfessor Dr. Anton Caragea and his delegation take a helicopter tour over Victoria Fall bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia
Victoria Water Fall observed from helicopter (3.000 meters)
Victoria Falls-the world largest cascade.
Professor Dr. Anton Caragea touring Great Zimbabwe(the biggest African palatial complex dating from XII century)
In the heart of Great Zimbabwe historical complex
Elephant safari in the desert heart of Zimbabwe
President Professor Dr. Anton Caragea gives an interview to Zimbabwe National Television
The visit to Zimbabwe-World Best Tourist Destination in 2014 of the EU team has brought new recognition`s for President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and for ZANU-PF government party for their crucial role in propelling Zimbabwe as a perfect tourist destination and a safe country.
On the venue of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION award ceremony held in Harare H.E. President of the Republic of Zimbabwe-Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the african liberation hero, has presented the official acceptance allocution on behalf of people and government of Zimbabwe.
Here is the full text of the inspiring speech presented by the most famous african leader of today:
I want I thank for this event to: The Honorable Vice-President Joice Mujuru
The Speaker of the House of Assembly and advocate Jacob Mudenda,
The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry comrade Walter Mzembi and all ministers here present,
Foremost to The President of European Council on Tourism and Trade, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and all members of his delegation,
Minister of Culture Andrew Langa , traditional leaders, all minister here presence,
Members of the diplomatic core,
Ladies and gentlemen`s, dear comrades,
I’m pleased though not surprised at all that the European Council on Tourism and Trade had seen fit to give the awards for the BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2014 and the distinction for FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION for 2014 to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’s is indeed endowed with bountiful natural resources and rich cultural history
In addition our country is adjudged by relevant experts to poses the best climate in the word making it: an attracting tourism destination all year around
All thou like anyone else we can experience dramatic climate conditions, the impact on us is not that devastating , Zimbabwe can conform his reputation as an ideal tourism destination, but destinations might be mere geographical entities, it have to be destinations with people, and it is the people that are making destination to worth the talk, and is therefore the people of Zimbabwe we should be praised for the destination to be as warm as is proofed to be, Zimbabwe together with many other countries in southern Africa has succeeded to preserved much of his natural biodiversity in both flora and fauna, indeed we are home to some of the
Of the most sought after and rare animals in the world, including the big five: the elephant- huge, the lion- feroces, the rhino-quiet, but harmful, the leopard-there is stealthy but also blood thirsty and buffalo.
Of all this, the one we say is the most friendly maybe the buffalo, it is the only one of them but it is just one but the others do not provide the thing that we want to eat. I don’t know if the lion is eatable, less still do I know if the rhino or leopard are eatable anywhere but the elephant is, I did not tasted before I was in the prison where they serve us with elephant meet, it but I can tell you that I never like it I never tasted it after prison. I was afraid and who could not be afraid to eat the elephant ?
Who would obviously not be frighten to eat the elephant?
I am indeed proud that the iconic physical tourist attraction that we have in the country that include: Victoria Falls, the Eastern Highlands, the Mana Pools and off course the Exfoliated Hills in Manicaland, all must have influence the European Council on Tourism and Trade to select out of 27 nominated country to select Zimbabwe as the winner of the BEST DESTINATION AWARD.
It is our capacity to give tourists from all the corners of the world access to all our country natural features, the opportunity for tourists to explore nature in his ecological environment, must have strongly contributed to ECTT decision to grant us the awards that we just received today.
Ladies and Gentleman’s
While our country rich historical and cultural legacy has caught the et ye of ECTT, the venerable Great Zimbabwe, a fortified palatial complex that must have being build in 12 century, must played his part , the Great Zimbabwe from whom our great country is deriving his name is offering a rare insight into one of the greatest pre-colonial civilization of Africa and indeed a rare window into centuries of traditions.
Indeed countrymen, the winning of this award should must be a wakeup call to many, to realize the many historical treasures that we own.
How many of us are aware of the many historical treasure that we own ?
How many are aware that our national monuments in Manicaland are dating back from stone age period ?
Many of this natural sites, that are now on the list of UNESCO human heritage site, can and should be leveraged, to attract international visitors to Zimbabwe.
I believe is equally important for our people both children and adults to know and visit this site, yes we can share them with world and can be said that that we hold them entrust for humanity , but they remain first and foremost our own, they defined our zimbabwesness cultural diversity.
Cultural diversity in way of life and way of life showing itself in our interaction, marriages but much, much more pleasantly in song and dance and you heard today that diversity coming out from Reverend Damasani poetic rendering.
A gifted man indeed!
O gifted musician, but a gifted moralist, man of prayer, man of God,
We need to be thoroughly familiar with them and be proud with them. Some time I think that Zimbabweans are not knowing their country endowment, beside mineral gold, and precious stones, perhaps Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality should launch a know your Zimbabwe! , know yourself campaign!
To facilitate, to know our country.
I must pay a tribute to this young person they call Minister Mzembi, now the only surviving minister of tourism in Africa, or in the world, so he says
I rate him as one of my best ministers.
Foresight, full of brilliant ideas that are not remaining just in the mind, they take the form of action and practice.
Yes, he has gallivanted the world: East, West, North South, but every step he took, was to make better know Zimbabwe, two make the people better know, to make the reaches of Zimbabwe better known.
We still have so many not unknown, some of them where known and dig out, but thanks God we still have them and we start to discovering them for ourselves.
Let the world to know us and to know us fully: that we are a peaceful people but a proud people as well, and when it comes about natural resources s committed to be their owners, jealous of them.
Fighters against imperialism and colonialism because it wants to displace us, as in deed they have displaced us for nearly a century, and we are owners and in possession of our wealth.
A wealth that we discovered !
Even our past was sometime ugly, difficult for our ancestors, but let it be know our immediate past even as well as our contemporary history.
Is in this context that we emphasize the importance of our history of liberating Zimbabwe from colonial bondage and it is in this context that we want to emphasize the importance of writing the history because was not just the liberation of the people but the liberation of a people and their resources and their the tourist attraction as well.
Must people commemorate the major historical wars going back to centuries, our war of liberation was, only yesterday, comparatively specking, we should not risk erase it from our memories
But we should preserved our pride history.
We won a great war the often pitted poorly armed, often shoeless peasants against experienced, well armed, ruffles mercenaries, but we won it, against all odds.
It was a people war, not just a ZANU ZAPU ZAMPLA ZIBRA war. No!
Those where fronts, fronts of the people of Zimbabwe in their diversity and thus where fronts of determined people, determined to fight for our people, their people, our people.
We should never forget our people together, whatever their cultural believes religious, cultural, political, they are our people and hence the need for the unity of our people, unity in diversity,
We need to enshrined all location of majors battles indeed and grow them into iconic attractions, that our visitors and our posterity will visit and value them for all time.
They become visiting places, tourist attraction.
They will naturally evoke memories, but they should never, even if they made us angry sometimes, they should never make us to want to fight again, but should make us to be always ready against the enemy, against thus who want to pull the same trick already that they put against us in 1890 lasting up to 1980 we say No. Never again!
Ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade.
Let me conclude by saying:
Thank you to you to European Council on Tourism and Trade-ECTT for these awards.
We should thank you for your magnanimity, I say magnanimity because at this juncture, during this time, at this time.
When others are thinking at punishing us more, you are thinking of making us more a friend than enemy. We are thanking you; we are exuding with friendship and love for others who equally may exude with love and friendship to us.
It is that interaction of love, love of nations, and love of people that we in Zimbabwe we want to work for.
Let me conclude by saying that I ‘am greatly enthusiastic and appreciative and full of pride for all the decision taken by European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) to give this awards to Zimbabwe.
If the countries that have win these awards in the past are anything to go by, the European Council on Tourism and Trade has a very powerful and transparent desire to draw all the world’s attention to the tourism potential in developing countries.
Thank you for that!
This award is having the effect of putting the winner under the global limelight and I want to say that we have this limelight, thanks to the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) and thanks to you the Zimbabweans for demonstrating that you love others in the world.
We are now in the global limelight!
I want to promise to the European Council on Tourism and Trade that we shall continue to increase our efforts to leverage the potential that you have identified in us and always make Zimbabwe a preferred tourist destination in the world, a people loving people’s destination.
And I want to assure you that this is what are we working for: peace and harmony in Zimbabwe, peace and harmony in the region, and peace and harmony in the world
I want to say once again thank you to European Council on Tourism and Trade for these awards, we shell treasure them for all time.
On the occasion of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION 2014 elections, the Academic Board of European Council on Tourism and Trade has decided to co-opt as his newest honorary academic member- Mr. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe.
The decision comes natural, as Minister Walter Mzembi succeeded in profusely supporting the successful candidature of Zimbabwe to the highest tourism honor- WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.
After being voted as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014, Zimbabwe has become the first African country to hold this honor, a sign of African resurgence and of closer ties with Europe.
The decision to award the HONORARY ACADEMICIAN TITLE has come not only after the successful Zimbabwe bid for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD, but in recognition of the extensive academic activity realized by Minister Walter Mzembi in the last span of time.
From the large list of academic qualification of Mr. Walter Mzembi the academic committee has appreciated his studies in: Mechanical Engineering, Diplomas in Business and Governance Studies (USA), Business Administration and Doctorate in management (Mexico) etc.
The decision was taken in consensus on 3rd of May 2014 and was communicated to Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe-Mr. Walter Mzembi in Harare on 29 May 2014.
Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei and Director of European Tourism Academy are offering warm congratulation to Minister Walter Mzembi
The official handing out ceremony was part of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 and was conducted by the Director of European Tourism Academy-Academician Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu.
In his welcoming speech in the European Academy, Professor Mircea Constantinescu has praised the first African leader accepted in the European Academy-Minister Walter Mzembi: Dr. Walter Mzembi is at the same time a great patriot. He loves his country, Zimbabwe, and the people of Zimbabwe. He put his enthusiasm, energy and knowledge in making a better life for the people and promoting the image of his country all over the world….. Dr. Walter Mzembi is a born communicator and diplomat. And this is not a pure laudation. The recognition of his merits in this area are confirmed by the appreciation of the Institute of Public Relations, by the African Travel Association, by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, by the Institute Of Cultural Diplomacy, and by many other national and international professional bodies.
Professor Mircea Constantinescu has praised the first African leader accepted in the European Academy-Minister Walter Mzembi
In the end of the ceremony Senator Ionel Agrigoroaei handed out the academician insignia and European Council on Tourism and Trade President-Professor Dr. Anton Caragea invited the new academician Walter Mzembi to take his place amongst his peers.
After being nominated as Academician- Honorary Member of European Tourism Academy Mr. Walter Mzembi becomes the voice of African continent in relation with Europe and in the world tourist stage opening the gates of prosperity and recognition for his fellow ministers from Africa and creating new opportunities of engagement between Africa and Europe in tourism, culture and economic cooperation.
In a festive ceremony the Minister of Culture and Sport of The Republic of Zimbabwe has received from His Excellency President of European Council on Tourism and Trade the FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION title for Republic of Zimbabwe as part of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION award ceremony held in Zimbabwe between 29 May-6 June 2014.
You can read in full extent the speech delivered on this momentous ceremony from the Office of The President of European Council on Tourism and Trade:
To all the people of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,
H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea delivering the speech for Zimbabwe-FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014
I must say what a privilege is for the all mankind to honor a country that is becoming a FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION.
It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the majestic people of Zimbabwe, a people that with spirit and mettle have united the south of African continent in the peerless civilization of Great Zimbabwe, that had left to the mankind the legacy of an indelible civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historical and world patrimony relevance, a strong and proud people that had offered to the world heritage countless blessings.
Today when we celebrate Zimbabwe as a cultural and touristic power house, we must not forget that the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the all people of Zimbabwe irrespective of their race, color, political or religious orientation that from 1979 onwards have been constructing, defying unfathomable difficulties, a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a free country.
Today, we come to share the good news that Africa, that recently celebrated 50 years of African unity, has reasserted herself and we come to honor a country of REBIRTH , OF RENAISSANCE, in a world that forgets that the main reason of tourism is imbuing the travelers into local culture, to immerse them in the discovery of the history, we come today to Harare honor a TRUE CULTURE.
In a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOURISTIC PATRIMONY, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for protecting historical sites and environmental riches, we come to honor THE SEVEN WONDER OF TOURISM, we come to honor the Republic of Zimbabwe.
We come in this place of Hope, in this place where almost 35 years ago the end of segregation, of exploitation and of colonialism was cried out into the open and confronted with a new name: Harare!
Here, in the city that never sleeps we have all gather to show our support for the values of humanity, of cultural driven tourism.
We are all here in the search for a country that offer to tourists a complete experience, a country that educates spirit, elevates soul and gives everybody a lesson in history and culture.
We all have found in ZIMBABWE the perfect teacher in tourism, offering to all tourists of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening touristic experience.
Among the reasons leading to awarding FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014 title to REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE our report has taken under consideration:
– The promotion and support offered to a new concept of community natural protection supporting tourism friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest south-African eco-climate.
– Offering to tourists the outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Waterfall, the National Parks as: Mana, Eastern Highlands from Manicaland, Mana Basins from West Mashonaland, Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland, Chilojo Cliffs, and Matobo Hills from Bulawayo etc.
– The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: cultural, historical and rich legacy of Great Kingdom of Zimbabwe, the preservation of the former capital of Shone Kingdom-Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo area with a world class fortification system and palatial complex from 12th century, these are offering a rare insight for tourists into one of the greatest civilization of pre-colonial Africa and a rare window into traditions of centuries.
– Today, REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is creating and offering for tourists an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.
– – The preservation of cultural and natural sites of world significance and value such as: Great Zimbabwe National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Khami Ruins National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Matobo Hills (added to UNESCO list in 2003), Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (added to UNESCO list in 1984), Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls and UNESCO candidate regions as:Ziwa national monuments dating from Stone Age period,make destination Zimbabwe to offer an incomparable contribution to the world legacy.
Based on these facts that can be completed with many others, The European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE – FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.
Your Excellency Mr. President,
It is my great honor and privilege to hand over this title to the Minister of Culture and Sports of Republic of Zimbabwe, as an international recognition for all the people of Zimbabwe, all united in the service of protecting and preserving historical and civilization patrimony of your country, in fostering tourism and culture, in the service of the people of ZIMBABWE,
May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for A WORLD OF WONDERS –THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE.
Esteemed Minister of Culture,
It is my privilege to handover to you, as representative of culture of THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, the award for FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION FOR 2014.