CHAIRMAN ANTON CARAGEA STATEMENT AT CEREMONY TO HONOR ZIMBABWE AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2014

June 17, 2014

Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe;

The Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Joice Mujuru;

Members of the Politburo;

All Cabinet Minister and Members of the House of Assembly and the Senate;

President of the Chiefs Council and all Chiefs here present;

Members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocol observed

President Dr.Anton Caragea-webH.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea MA, FINS, ETA speech at WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for Zimbabwe

 

As always, the ceremony for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD is the embodiment of an idea and the universal proclamation of a country that succeeded in materializing this idea to the fullest.

Last year we concentrated on the idea that in the world of today, tourism is a causeway uniting knowledge and friendship, peoples and countries, a way to promote peace and understanding, a road that leads towards a better future for all.

We see the recipient of the WORLD BEST TOURISM AWARD, ZIMBABWE, not only standing for the idea of a resurrection of Africa and African people, but also symbolizing Africa’s determination to undertake the long journey to global significance.

We have also noted with great satisfaction that Zimbabwe has persistently viewed tourism as one of the pillars of its economy, going forward. Your successive economic blueprints, right up to the current one, the ZIMASSET, recognize the critical value-adding role that the tourism sector can play in your economy.

Your Excellency, we are aware that in 2013 you signed the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Golden Book of Tourism. We must congratulate and commend you highly for signing that book. Yours was the 29th signature by various world statesmen throughout the globe, who have pledged their support for global tourism, with its critical role of promoting both the economic, as well as the social wellbeing of the world. Needless to say, tourism can do a great deal of social and economic good for Africa, including Zimbabwe.

 

Mr. President, in our consideration for whom to give this award to, we learnt, amongst many other facts about your country, of your economic model ensuring that local communities participate and benefit from enterprises that exploit and benefit from the conservation of bio-diversity of both flora and fauna, was born here. We are here to urge you along this course, because that makes Zimbabwe a steward of the earth’s flora and fauna, in its pristine condition, for the benefit and enjoyment of all humanity including Zimbabwe’s own posterity.

Your government’s well placed recognition of tourism as an important sector is also evident in your decision to create a stand-alone Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, back in 2009.

Even more fundamental for us, is your acknowledgement that tourism is a peace sector, constantly building bridges amongst the various peoples of the world.

Your recognition of this truth is evidenced, in part, by the support you have given your Minister of Tourism to travel the world, east and west, ensuring that this bridge between your country and the rest of the world remains intact and promote real people-to-people warmth and friendship.

 

It is not only for these philosophical reasons that we found your country worthy of this award, the fact is your country if well-endowed with historical and cultural features of great worth and value to all humanity. These range from the massive long-standing architectural structures of Great Zimbabwe monument, and others like it all over your country, to rock paintings and artefacts that symbolize early human civilization.  Zimbabwe is indeed a destination of global note and the recognition of many of your country’s features as UNESCO Human Heritage sites says as much.

We did explain in great detail in our 3rd of May Press Release that we  put out for this purpose, why we found Zimbabwe a deserving recipient of these awards, but my address would be amiss if I failed to refer to the well-known hospitality and peace- loving nature of the Zimbabwean people. It is quite appropriate that you position your people as one of the Seven Wonders that characterize Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans, both at home and in the diaspora, are generally well-known for their hard-work and cheerfulness – they are a wonder indeed.

President R.Mugabe and WBTDA-webH.E. President of Zimbabwe-Robert Mugabe and Professor Dr. Anton Caragea MA, FINS, ETA H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea MA, FINS, ETA at WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD ceremony for Zimbabwe

 

Last but not least, Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is not only in Zimbabwe that we have found a naturally and culturally well-endowed destination, but it is here that we find an exceptional combination of peace and security, combined with a crime-free environment and an exceptionally hospitable people. Visitors here are bound to feel welcome, safe and secure, and that is probably the reason why the United Nations World Tourism Organization decided to hold the 20th Session of its General Assembly, which turned out to be its most successful, here in Zimbabwe at the magnificent Victoria Falls.

Your Excellency Mr. President, it is my great honor and privilege to hand over this title as an international recognition for all the people of Zimbabwe, all united in the service of protecting and preserving the historical and cultural heritage of your country, leveraging tourism and culture, in the service of the people of Zimbabwe.

 

This title is also a challenge because we now expect your country and people to hold what you have in trust on behalf of world culture and tourism. May this award be used to enhance the international standing of the Republic of ZIMBABWE-A WORLD OF WONDERS. It is my privilege and honour Mr. President, to handover to Your Excellency, as the representative of your country and tourism, the Award for the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014. 


PROFESSOR DR. ANTON CARAGEA SPEECH IN FAVOR OF ZIMBABWE-WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014

May 9, 2014

On the occasion of the General Assembly of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea held a key note speech analyzing the efforts of Lao PDR, former receiver of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2014 and praising ZIMBABWE the new receiver of the world most important touristic distinction:  WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.

President Anton Caragea declares Zimbabwe as winner of World Best Tourist Destination Award fro 2014

The full presentation of the speeches and activities held on this occasion can be read here:

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy presented a report on the 2013 Award for the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. He stated that the

Republic of Laos had leveraged the award in accordance with rules and regulations, which proved useful for attracting new tourists and investors.

In 2013, Laos PDR recorded the highest increase in the number of incoming tourists in the world with a staggering 8% increase during the 2013/2014, despite the world economic crisis.

An increase in investment, in the country’s tourism potential and the number of foreign visitors were the positive outcomes of the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD for Lao PDR, concluded Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea also praised the outstanding commitment and achievements of Laos tourism in 2013. Laos PDR also boosted its international presence, with European companies and tour operators that advertised sites and trips to Laos PDR increasing from 1.500 to 3.200 in less than a year.

On internet, the number of pages promoting Laos biodiversity and tourism facilities increased from 20 million to more than 50 million, an unrivalled increase in the recent history of tourism marketing on internet.

The 8% growth of the tourism industry, during these times of worldwide economic recession, is also unmatched by any other country, said ECTT President-Professor Dr.Anton Caragea.

On the debate for the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2014, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) presented a report titled: ZIMBABWE: THE PERFECT AFRICAN DESTINATION; A SEVEN-WONDER DESTINATION IN TOURISM AND CULTURAL POTENTIAL.

He proposed ZIMBABWE as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 and as receiver of the FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION distinction for 2014.

The report noted that the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 to ZIMBABWE were the following:

 The excellent organization of the 20th Session of the World Tourism Organization General Assembly from 24-30 August 2013. The world gathering brought together tourism experts from more than 120 countries.

 The successful organizing of this world event, inspite of huge logistic and economic challenges, proves without doubt, the capacity of Zimbabwe Government and the tourism industry’s capacity to organize world level events.

Following a magnificent vision and the organisation of a successful world tourism meeting, ZIMBABWE has unequivocally demonstrated that it is a safe, open and perfect tourism destination.

The support offered to the promotion of Community Based Tourism, which ensures the survival of sustainable tourism, with its with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species in Southern Africa. Community based ecotourism, promoted by Minister Walter Mzembi, is a perfect way of sharing revenue that supports rural communities’ prosperity through opportunities to market their foodstuffs and handicrafts to the world. The way in which eco-tourism has become the base for local economic development, providing benefits to communities, makes eco-friendly tourism the lesson that the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is offering to the world.

 Giving tourists access to outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation, and the opportunity to visit extraordinary places such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Falls; the National Parks such the Eastern Highlands in Manicaland; the Mana Pools in Mashonaland West; Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland; Chilojo Cliffs in Masvingo and the Matobo Hills near Bulawayo etc. All these regions and national parks, are a model of achieving ecological and green tourism that must be recognized throughout the world.

 The ongoing development and protection of cultural and historical shrines of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the transformation of Harare into a historical and spiritual centre, offering to the visitors a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Zimbabwe.

 The preservation of outstanding historical and cultural heritage in the form of the former capital of the Shona Kingdom, the Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo, a fortified palatial complex from the 12th Century, offering a rare insight into one of the greatest pre-colonial civilizations of Africa, and a rare window into centuries old traditions.

 Today, Great Zimbabwe Monument also offers tourists an open air museum with a rare collection of historical and archaeological 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 the Stone Age period, make destination Zimbabwe to offer an incomparable contribution to the world legacy.

 The REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is today a hot spot for adventure tourism, offering large areas suitable for this special kind of tourism, and the necessary infrastructure to welcome the adventure seeker, its safety and peace, makes the country, one of the world’s top adventure destinations.

 Keeping alive indigenous traditions, allows tourists and visitors to be part of the Zimbabwe people’s social fabric, which offers the possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that make the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE a first class destination.

After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, from the Romanian Parliament and Director of European Parliamentary Committee in the European Council on Tourism and Trade expressed the views of all present at the gathering when he declared that the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is the deserving candidate, with a perfect record of promoting eco-friendly tourism, ecological and socially oriented tourism, and that only a unanimous vote in favor of the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, could express the unwavering European tourism and economic communities’ support for such a world model.

Mr. Victor Deleanu, ECTT rapporteur also presented a report titled “ZIMBABWE: A HOT SPOT OF ADVENTURE TOURISM” which praised the country for its safety record, infrastructure and hospitality industry’s achievements that make Zimbabwe an attractive destination in Africa.

Mr. Mihai Prundianu, Chairman of the Trade Mission of the ECTT, also highlighted the importance of the moment as the continent celebrated 50 years of African Unity, it is appropriate for Europe to express its commitment to, and appreciation for, Africa by crowning ZIMBABWE THE FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION AND WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014.

At the end of the debate, European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 TITLE TO REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE and to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE THE FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.

The meeting was also presented with the Official Invitation, from the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality of the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, for a delegation of high ranking officials of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Harare, in person, to His Excellency President of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE, the most outstanding personality in Africa today.

Awarding the highest world tourism prize of the European Council on Tourism and Trade; accepting the invitation for a working visit of high ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade to the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, are all momentous occasions and evidence of the admiration that all tourism experts have for the potential and future of tourism in REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, concluded Professor Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade at the end of the meeting.

PRESIDENT OFFICE OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND

TRADE (ECTT)

 


Deciphering Barack Obama

February 9, 2009

President Barack Obama gets the worldDeciphering Obama

                       

Today, after three weeks from the presidential take over ceremony in United States every body is trying to decipher what will be the next policy of Washington under the President elect Barack Obama.

Even at a glimpse the international agenda left behind by President Bush is a difficult one: war in Iraq and Afghanistan, crisis in Pakistan, tension relation with Russia, frictions with Europe, problems in Africa , every one will see that the next president is going to have his hands full with this agenda.

But what are Baracks Obama one interests in this international agenda. What is making the man tick on international issues?

We have a lot of information on what the new presidents intentions are by his foreign policy interviews, articles, and speeches and already established interest points on his agenda.

 

A new image for U.S.

 

The new president is highly concerned with the drop of America’s popularity all around the world. This is a major issue the Obama wants to tackle by dismantling Guantanamo Bay Prison, by releasing the inmates that have being proven innocent and transferring to civil courts in US the cases already build by US prosecution , instead on judging the offenders on military courts as Bush administration wanted to do. Also the new administration will ban the Executive Orders of President Bush that allowed US troops to attack any country and any position around the world suspected of helping, financing, training or supporting terrorist activities.

Also, Obama administration announced very clearly that will renounced at Bush doctrine of preempting strike and going alone doctrine that give to US the right to  act without his allies as in Iraq offensive case.

The preemptive strike will not be completely abolished; by will require under the new administration the approval of NATO members and key allies before being applied.

 

U.S. relation with Europe.

 

Relation with Europe, badly damage after the US invasion of Iraq is also high on President elect Obama`s agenda. US will be once more a strong supporter of the European Union construction and enlargement. Barack Obama is ready to restore to UE the role of consultant and key decision maker in Europe and Africa region. In Berlin speech Obama offered to E.U. a partnership in expansion of democratic values and free market economy in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. While G. Bush favored the military expansion in Eastern Europe ( by promoting Baltic States in NATO, supporting Ukraine and Georgia bid to NATO and building the missile Shield in Poland  ) the  new president is preferring using E.U. membership option and E.U. cooperation plans to promote softer relation in Eastern Europe.   Also on Europe chapter president elect Barack Obama is favoring a detente in relation with Russia: suspending military aid to Georgia, stopping NATO presence on the Black Sea , redrawing support for Ukraine and Georgia bid to join NATO and renouncing at the plans to build the Missile Shield in Eastern Europe every thing announced a new era of Russia-US relationship .

 

Obama and the U.S. military complex.

 

 Is Barack Obama a pacifist? Not a bit, he is a realist on the line of Woodrow Wilson theory of a concert of free nation that will prevail against any threats (This theory marked the US involvement in First World War and in building the League of Nations- the predecessor of today United Nation). 

Obama is determined to increase the military budget (already doubled in size from the Clinton era) by 25% in his first term in office. He already advocated this increase by saying that US are involved in two major military actions and needs to increase and modernize his military apparatus. The retreat from Iraq will only include military combat troops, technicians, private contractors, private army (as Black water troops and US air strike capability will be left in place to support the Iraqi government). On Iran agenda all thou that Barack Obama is not an advocate of ground invasion (as J. McCain was) his stands on Iran will still be a harsh one. A nuclear Iran is unacceptable, he pointed out. As a paradox: the redrew from Iraq will offer Obama the free hand to deal with Iran, even by air strikes without fearing on repercussions to US troops on the ground. So a coalition against Iran is still one the president agenda and with new relations with Russia and E.U he could be even better position then G. Bush to make strong pressure on Teheran. Also the decision to redraw from Iraq will be a good one for Afghanistan where lack of troops and financial aid make the country a safe haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban’s.  

 

Obama and China.

 

If the new US president is keen on cooperating with Europe, ease tensions with Russia; redraw from Iraq then why such a military build up is still necessary?

Obama`s see the danger for the US coming from China. Every line of foreign policy speech is a reflection of his willingness for a stronger attitude towards China. Only in the last 6 month he declared that: US market is threatened by the import from China, by the trade deficit with China, by piracy on electronic products from China. In his best seller: The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama states clearly that:  “In the XXI century the major challenge from military and economic point of view to US is from China…. and for this we have to be prepared” (p.313).

In recent weeks after the election also declared that is inadmissible that U.S. currency is tied to China and that US deficit is supported by Chinese loans.

This is not mean that Obama is determined to have a stand off with China but is determine not to allow China to challenge US supremacy in Asia-Pacific region.

 

New down.

 

At the new down of Barack Obama administration the president seems decided to change the world: a new military doctrine, a shift in focus to Asia-Pacific region, controls over Middle East, better relations with Russia an E.U. and a new image for United States in the world. Bush and Obama could not be more different on foreign policy aspects. What will mean Obama legacy to the world? Let’s wait and see. Change has definitely come to White House.               

 

                      

Professor Anton Caragea PhD, M.A., FINS.