Zambia targets more tourists after Berlin fair
By SANDRA MACHIMA THE Zambia Tourism Authority (ZTA) and officers in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts should claim a fair share of the 1.2 billion outward-bound visitors that leave their countries annually, government has said.
Minister of Tourism Charles Banda said Zambia should now aim at increasing numbers of visitors from the current levels of a million pay year, because the country had sold herself well at the just-ended 2018 International Tourism Bourse that took place in Berlin, Germany.
The minister said given the opportunities that lie abundantly in the tourism sector, it was time to put into action President Edgar Lungu’s challenge that it was no longer business-as-usual at the Ministry of Tourism following government decision to elevate the ministry from the social sector to the economic sector.
He said the world received Zambia well at the travel showpiece as evidenced by the large turnout at meetings held to focus on the country.
“With this challenge, we came to the 2017 ITB with no stand and no prospects and yet a year later, taking a leap of faith, we became convention and culture partner,” he said.
The minister was speaking when he addressed a meeting attended by Zambia’s ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita, embassy staff, ZTA chief executive officer Felix Chaila, officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Zambians resident in Germany.
“When I was in China, I told the Minister of Culture there if he could give me just one million visitors per year and he said ‘we have 122 million and you are only asking for 1 million? However, the weeklong travel show attracted 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries with an estimated 100,000 visitors on a daily basis and covered by 6,000 journalists from around the world.
The minister said it was the government’s intention to have Zambia counted among the top five preferred tourism destination of choice, adding the country’s cultural and natural heritage was sufficient to propel Zambia to such a significant height.
Zambia was the convention and culture partner at the 2018 International Tourism Bourse, in Berlin.