Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Zambia’s domestic suppliers should be encouraged to flourish, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director Viola Morgan has said
Addressing the fifth African Conference of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, Viola said the benefit of investment, both local and foreign should be retained or shared in the country through investment and job creation.
“Zambia’s domestic suppliers should be encouraged to flourish and if there are foreign investors, the benefits of the investment should also be retained or shared in the country through investments; job creation, be it small or medium and up scaling of enterprises.  An overall tourism entrepreneurial culture should be ingrained in advocacy campaigns and programmes for poverty reduction and wealth creation,” Viola said.
She said Zambia needed to be more competitive, especially taking into account the country’s main competitors in its niches: the Victoria Falls and biodiversity.
“With regards to the Victoria Falls the main competition is Zimbabwe.  On biodiversity, great competitors for international tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2009 include Botswana (1.5 Million of tourist arrivals), Kenya (1.4 Million), South Africa (9.9 Million), Malawi (755,000) and Tanzania (714,000),” she said.
Viola observed that countries like Zambia, where tourism depends to a high degree on natural heritage and biodiversity, were highly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.
“It is not difficult to imagine how increased climatic variability may exacerbate tourism volatility. For example: droughts that may affect tourists’ visits to the Victoria Falls. Changing climate and ‎weather patterns at ‎tourist - generating and- destination countries ‎can significantly affect the tourists’ travel ‎decisions,” she noted. “While the tourism sector is affected by climate change, it is also a significant contributor to climate change mainly through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ‎‎generated mostly through the transportation of tourists and their energy consumption at destination points.‎ ‎Some estimates have noted that the tourism sector contributes 5% to the global carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, it is imperative for the sector to respond to climate change within the evolving national responses, thus progressively reducing its carbon footprint so as to grow in an environmentally sustainable manner.”
She further observed that Tourism was an industry characterized by high job mobility and that in itself creates increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection.
“When such tourists have sex with prostitutes, hotel staff, and others in the local population, a bridge can be created for HIV to cross back and forth between the tourist's home country and the tourist destination,” Viola said.
The conference is taking place here at Lusaka's Intercontinental Hotel from 15-20 May 2011.

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