Host Country Day 2: Livingstone, Zambia and Sunset Zambezi Cruise

6 Jun

On May 22nd, 2012, ATA delegates enjoyed their second host country day. The most special part of the program was that it was jointly hosted by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the Zambia Tourism Board. The partnership between these two neighboring countries, both of whom are ATA members, is an inspiring example of successful collaboration between partners who share tourism resources for the mutual benefit of tourism development.

The day began with a quick and smooth bus trip over the Zambezi River to Livingstone, Zambia for a light lunch of roast chicken, nshima (mealie meal porridge) and local vegetables and cultural performance at the Chrismar Hotel (http://chrismarhotels.com/).

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Chrismar Hotel (image from http://www.chrismarhotels.com)

Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director, likened the commute from Zimbabwe to Zambia to that from New York to New Jersey, and said “Today’s commute was actually better because there was less traffic”! Delegates were also given a tour of the beautiful Royal Livingstone hotel. (http://royal-livingstone-hotel.com/)

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The pool at the Royal Livingstone Hotel overlooking the Zambezi River (image from http://www.royal-livinstone-hotel.com)

After the hotel tour, delegates were treated to a tour of the Royal Livingstone Express, a century-old luxury rail experience(http://www.royal-livingstone-express.com/). The museum is dedicated to preserving Livingstone’s strong railway heritage with old steam locomotives and vintage coaches that still run cross-country daily as well as railway memorabilia and old photographs illustrating life in the pioneer days of the town.

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The Royal Livingstone Express (image from http://www.royal-livingstone-express.com/).

Then, it was time for us to return to Zimbabwe for a sunset cruise along the Zambezi River, an experience that none of us will soon forget. We enjoyed views of many hippos and the most beautiful African sunset one can imagine.

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Sunset on the Zambezi (photo by Robyn Deutsch)

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Two hippos (photo by Robyn Deutsch)

The cruise offered the perfect opportunity for the delegates to reflect on the action-packed program we have experienced this week: from sessions, workshops and roundtables focusing on different tourism themes and issues; to an African culinary experience; to visiting the mighty Victoria Falls; to social events and networking opportunities and so much more…one sentiment was shared by all: appreciation of our experience and excitement to work together in the future to promote travel and tourism to and across Africa.

Today’s host country day also marked the end of ATA’s 37th Annual World Congress in Victoria Falls.

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