Monday, 27 September 2010

ZAMBIA IS A TOURISM HUB – RB

President Rupiah Banda
By The Globe Reporter
President Rupiah Banda has described Zambia as tourism hub.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Sheila Siwela has told American tourist professionals that Zambia’s tourism sector has been steadily growing fast as the second most important economic segment after agriculture.
In a statement, released by State House Special Assistant for Press and Public relation Dickson Jere, to mark the United Nations World Tourism Day, President Banda called for Zambia to become a leading tourist hub for Southern Africa.
 “We Zambians love to welcome visitors to our beautiful country from across Africa and the wider world. Tourism is vitally important for Zambia’s economy, bringing jobs and economic prosperity and helping us to protect our environment,” President Banda said.  “I am passionate about the need for us to build solid relationships with other countries and leaders, and so encourage them to come and see for themselves what Zambia has to offer.  We Zambians are a friendly people and showing visitors the sites and experiences of Zambia is a great pleasure for us all; we are rightly proud of our beautiful country.”
Flagging off the Zambia 2010 Travel Show at the Zambia Embassy in Washington DC, Ambassador Siwela said tourism contributed around four percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to the “AfricanMecca Inc.” the latest arrival statistics based on 2007 stands at 805,059 visitors from 690,000 in 2006, representing an increase of about 15-28 per cent in the number of visitors to Zambia.

Ambassador Siwela said the US was Zambia’s second tourist market after Europe.
 Ambassador Siwela  revealed that in 2009, the North American market recorded around 40,000 arrivals and appealed to the US and Canadian travel professionals  to partner with Zambian private sector tour operators in selling Zambia to the American public.
“We aim to more than double this number for the coming years and can only achieve this target with you as our partners,” she said.
The travel show is designed to promote travel to Zambia and to educate travel professionals about the country’s wide range of travel options and services.
During the workshops, travel professionals will have the opportunity to meet with Zambian suppliers and companies that offer products and services in Zambia and learn about the latest tourism developments.
The seven-day road that started in Washington DC will move to New York where 100 travel professionals are expected to attend while other cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto in Canada are expected to attract about 180 travel professionals.
Zambia Tourism Board Acting Chief Executive Officer, Stein Liyanda said the road shows were timely given the placing of tourism as second on the economic development agenda of the country.
“This event not only serves in keeping the US tour professionals up to date with the latest developments taking place in our country, it is also intended to attract tourists and holiday makers in big numbers,” he said.
Zambia Tourism Board Acting CEO, Mr. Stein Liyanda (l)
and Ambassador Mrs. Sheila Siwela at the Flag off
ceremony at the Zambia Embassy in Washington DC
Liyanda said he was excited with tourism projects such as the Northern Circuit in Northern and Luapula provinces, noting that the two provinces were endowed with an array of tourist attractions that are of national, regional and international significance.
He said the US $400 million Kasaba Bay Tourism Resort Development project (KBTRDP) comprises Nsumbu and Lusenga National parks, the Lumangwe and Kabwelume water falls and the towns of Kaputa, Mbala and Mpulungu.
He was optimistic that once the project was completed, it would be the most preferred destination in Africa as it is strategically located to receive tourists from East Africa and Great Lakes region.
He said the program would include upgrades of airport facilities, roads, telecommunication, electricity, accommodation, water and shopping malls.
Liyanda named the Greater Livingstone and the Kafue National Park whose infrastructure would improve tourism as some of the tourism attraction that could lure new investors.
Livingstone based Zambezi Shuttles managing director Rachel Lungu Ward, who is part of the delegation,  said the Road show offers an opportunity for her to network with American travel professionals as well as to raise awareness of Zambia’s emerging tourism sector.

United Touring Company managing director Charity Chewe said the Zambian private sector’s participation at this year’s road show would boost numbers of American travelers to Zambia.
She said the fact that statistics of numbers of tourists from North America who visit Zambia were steadily growing, there was need for aggressive marketing of tourism.
“Basically, I have been able to explain where Zambia is located , its proximity with neighboring countries vis-a-vis  the Victoria Falls and how they can package their tours from America to Zambia first before extending their holiday elsewhere,” she said.
Other members of the delegation include Zambia Tourist Board members Martin Simwaka and Matongo Matamwandi and Zambia Tourist Board Acting Marketing Manager Donald Pelekamoyo
 Zambia’s most famous tourist attraction is Victoria Falls, in Livingstone, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The country has some of Africa’s best wildlife parks, including Lower Zambezi National Park, offering a huge variety of game and bird life. Zambia is also world renowned for its fishing, as anglers from all over the world come to visit the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba.

4 comments:

  1. What a better way to describe our nation's tourism sector! And I'm sure our President is 100% at it.I've scoured globe magazines and newspapers to see if there is a page devoted solely to zambia. I've found none...Notheless,I do hope our president's buzz in America as well as else where will trigger relentless influx of tourists in zambia.And it's time local writers--including you and me-- let alone journalist rolled up their sleeves and started to put pen to paper about zambia's ever growing tourism sector.( Web Copywriter,Ignatius Ngoma. www.jetdim.wordpress.com )

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