Tourism key to Zambia’s economic prosperity

TOURISM holds the key to Zambia’s economic prosperity, and the country has a vast range of incredible tourist attractions for both international and local visitors, says Zambia Proflight Director of Government and Industry Affairs Captain Philip Lemba.

Capt Lemba said Zambia’s vast ranges of incredible tourist attractions for both international and local visitors were spread out across the country, with long distances between them, adding that the only fastest means of getting to those destinations was by flying.

“The best option for reaching all the far-flung places, quickly, safely and affordably is flying which Proflight is providing,” he said. Capt. Lemba said the airline was committed to promoting domestic tourism and therefore, Zambia Tourism Expo was a perfect platform as it brought together tourism operators from all over Zambia, and a better way to promote Zambia.

“The airline is a main supporter and exhibitor at this week’s Zambia Tourism Expo also offering discount tickets for visiting trade buyers as part of its effort to nurture and develop Zambia’s tourism sector,” he said.

Capt. Lemba said the annual Zambia Tourism Expo exhibition showcases the widest variety of tourism products and services from Zambia, the regional and beyond, saying Proflight Zambia was among other companies and various stakeholders ranging from hotel and accommodation establishments, international airlines, tour operators and tourism boards from other countries participating in the 2016 Expo.

‘One million visitors, one million opportunities’ 2016 Zambia Tourism Expo theme could not have come at a better time when so many positive developments were taking place in the Zambian tourism industry.

Proflight Zambia flies to seven local domestic destinations and also offered regional routes to Lilongwe in Malawi, and Durban in South Africa, helping overseas tourists connect into Lusaka and onwards to the local domestic tourist destinations. And the 2016 Zambia Tourism Expo (ZATEX) has attracted more than 100 buyers of local tourism products from 4o recorded last year, says Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) managing director Felix Chaila.

Mr Chaila said in an interview that the Expo had attracted buyers from over 15 international countries out of which 8 where outside Africa.

He said such countries included France, German, Seychelles, Middle East, India and Japan. “The event this year is double in all aspects; the number of both buyers and sellers has gone up. For example, the number of sellers last year was about 35 to 40. This year, it is 100. Last year we had 40 sellers and this time they are about 80.

“We have drawn buyers from more than 15 countries. For instance, France, German, Seychelles, Middle East, India and Japan. We also have more than 7 African countries that approached us such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mr Chaila said the Expo was a market place for Zambia’s tourism products drawn from across the country such as Livingstone, Kafue, lower Zambezi and Siavonga, to mention but a few. He said ZTA was holding the Expo under positive developments in the tourism sector such as the taking away of yellow fever vaccination for Zambian travellers to South Africa which made many tourists avoid visiting the country.

“Then the introduction of the univisa with Zimbabwe would also boost tourism in Zambia,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Chaila said Zambia recorded 960,000 tourists in 2015.


Categorized | Business

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