The Zambia Tourism Board says it is seeking to boost domestic tourism after international tourist arrivals last year grew by 6.7 per cent. Tourist arrivals in Zambia for 2013 amounted to 914,576, with a profit estimated at US$300 million.
The tourism sector is playing a very significant role in the country’s economy, currently accounting for approximately four per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As part of its strategy, ZTB wants domestic tourism to also grow.
It has since called on Zambians to be tourists in their own country and to experience what millions of international tourists are drawn to annually - the sheer beauty of their land, its rich culture and heritage, and the warmth and hospitality of their fellow citizens.
“We are encouraging Zambians, especially as part of the jubilee celebration, to reignite that sense of loving their Zambia. We can only be true ambassadors of our tourism if we know the place. You cannot sell what you don’t know,” ZTB public relations and media manager Caristo Chitamfya said in an interview during a tour of Paraise Game Farm by Ezekiel Private School.
“We don’t have a shortage of places to go to in this country. We want, as we start another 50 years, Zambians to start thinking seriously about taking their families to relax and experience the tourist attractions we have in the country.”
He said domestic tourism arrivals have been very low.
“We would like to double the figures. For certain places like the Victoria Falls, current statistics show that only about 40 per cent of the people who live in Livingstone have seen the Victoria Falls. So there we would like to ensure the percentage rises to 100 per cent,” Chitamfya said.
He said under the new Domestic Tourism Growth Strategy, ZTB had responded to some of the challenges that have contributed to low arrivals. “We have developed incentives in terms of packages that address the price issue,” Chitamfya said.
“When we did our research, there were challenges that were identified. One of them was the cost, but we have special packages offered by various tour operators. Secondly, people complained that some places are beyond reach, but we have this massive infrastructure development and this is one of the legacies that we remember president Michael Sata for. It is good for tourism because it makes connectivity easy. So there should be no excuse for Zambians not exploring their own country,” said Chitamfya.
Source: Zambians should explore their own country - The Post Zambia (02/11/14)