Cultural tourism can add value to economy

THE over 84 traditional ceremonies celebrated by 73 ethnic tribes in Zambia yearly can add value to the country’s economic development if marketed properly says, tourism minister Jean Kapata has said.
Ms. Kapata said Zambia was blessed with a rich diversity of culture which if well marketed can contribute greatly to the economic development of the country and the reduction of poverty.
Speaking during the launch of the Pamodzi Carnival package at Protea Hotel yesterday, Ms. Kapata said Zambia had over 84 traditional ceremonies which if well marketed would help in the fight against poverty.
“We have over 84 traditional ceremonies celebrated by 73 ethnic tribes; this potentially is viable tourism package and all what we need to do is push forward to add more variety to the tourism world.
“The presence of the media is critical as its role is to inform the general public about the new product launched and educate Zambians about the rich resource in their different communities which they need to preserve not only for tourism purposes but also for posterity,” she said.
Ms. Kapata noted w that cultural tourism throughout the world had grown rapidly and was contributing to the growth of the world economy.
“Cultural tourism throughout the world has grown very rapidly and is contributing immensely to the development of the aid Ms. Kapata. The minister said that the launch of the new cultural and tourist product called Pamodzi Carnival would be part of the tourism calendar in Zambia and was hopeful that it would attract both the locals and foreigners with emphasis on Zambians.
“The Pamodzi Carnival is not for the enjoyment of the foreign tourists alone, in fact all tourism products are for everyone to enjoy especially by Zambians who are the owners of the products. “You may be aware that the mandate of my ministry is to develop and promote tourism in Zambia. It is also a fact that tourism’s focus for many years has been nature-based relying mainly on the promotion and protection of wildlife and water bodies like Victoria Falls,” said Ms. Kapata. Ms. Kapata said Zambia must realise now that tourism if properly managed and marketed could be a serious economic driver in many areas of society.
“Two United Nations agencies responsible for tourism and culture WTO and UNESCO have concluded that culture is both a driver of tourism and development,”she said.
Ms Kapata said the PF Government had recognized the important role culture played in the development of the nation, adding that Government had made it a priority to place culture in the ministry of tourism. Ms. Kapata also revealed that the PF government targets creating about 300 000 jobs in the tourism sector and with the Pamodzi Carnival package, the dream of creating over 300 000 jobs was attainable sooner than later. Director of arts and culture Victor Makashi urged Zambians to appreciate culture and add value to the industry by ensuring that they preserved culture.

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