Zam­bia tar­gets more tourists af­ter Ber­lin fair

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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.

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