Thanks to TravelWires for publishing this online interview this morning:

“Hot on the heels of fellow Zambian internet entrepreneur Sara Brown from is Richard Chanter, the owner of Chanters Lodge in Livingstone (Zambia). He shares with us his journey to launching Chanters Lodge and how I hope other operators within this space could learn a thing about keeping an active presence on the internet (it does not cost a cent, just dedication)…

When were you born and where are you based?
I was born in Tiverton, Devon, UK and I am based in Livingstone, Zambia.

Can you educate my readers about Chanters Lodge, what exactly inspired the business?
The obvious need in Livingstone in 1997 for a good restaurant – the rooms were an afterthought!

What were you doing before launching your business and when was it launched?
From 1979 – 1992 I was GM of what is now Southern Sun Ridgeway in Lusaka. From 1992-1995 I was a transporter and market gardener. From 1995-1997 I was in unsuccessful business partnerships in the catering trade in Lusaka. This business was launched in 1998.

How much was invested in launching your business and how was that capital financed?
Total invested on launch was US$100,000 but there has been additional investment of US$200,000 since. The initial capital was loan followed up by investment from a maturing pension fund and from profit.

What planning did you engage before launching?
Probably not enough!

Are there any major challenges that you had to overcome in launching your business?
Wow! So many! Development and management in Livingstone in the late 90’s was a challenge in almost every respect you could think of!

I notice your property has numerous reviews on, do you also generate bookings through that website?
Very many, I also respond to every review.

Do you use any booking engine for your property?

You’re an active blogger, does this helps your business in generating bookings?
Hard to say, it certainly doesn’t do any harm!

What are your short and long-term business goals?
Short term to finish the ongoing construction of two additional rooms and to maximize revenue in 2010 (World Cup). Long term to be able to semi-retire in 2012 with a good self-fulfilling management structure in place.

What is your opinion of country focused portals like

Which industry events do you exhibit your business?
None so far

Which sector of the Zambian tourism industry do you feel still presents untapped business opportunities?
Development of infrastructure generally and specifically in Kafue National Park and on Lake Tanganyika
What are your three preferred industry blogs that you read daily?
Hotel Blogs and Best of Zambia – I write more than I read also Hotel Interactive

Is the tourism industry in Zambia involved with the forthcoming 2010 Soccer World Cup?
It needs to be!

Is your occupancy rate affected by the current economic climate?
So far not really

What does responsible tourism means for your business and do you subscribe to it in your operations?
It means care of the environment, training and development of Zambian personnel, maintenance of our assets and first class public relations and yes we try to!

What does the internet means for your business?
80% of our reservations and almost 100% of the feedback. It also brings Facebook, Twitter and TripAdvisor. Everything?
Has your property ever fell victim to the cheque and credit card fraudsters?


Soccer Tournament in South Africa

Just a day after Spanish football star Xabi Alonso called on FIFA to ban vuvuzela horns, Spanish fans have called on the football body to ban Africans. “They are just so black,” said fan Enrique de Torquemada. “And there are so many of them here in Africa. It is very upsetting.” Meanwhile
South Africans have asked the Spanish to stop lisping.

Alonso was widely quoted this week referring to vuvuzelas as an “annoyance” that should be banned. However, FIFA godfather Sepp Blatter has defended the horns. “South African football is all about noise, excitement, shouting and enjoyment,” he said. “And sometimes goals. But mostly just noise.”

Alonso’s South African hosts say they are taking the star’s complaints seriously, despite “Xabi” meaning “doos” in the ancient San language. “Obviously as a footballer Mr Alonso is a very unique person,” said Confederations Cup local organizer Sonnyboy Laduma. “I mean, it’s not everyone who has a Grade 9 education, is unemployable after 35, and who spends hours every day training to kick an inflated sack in to a net, who then tries to dictate the culture of another continent.”

However, Laduma confirmed that Alonso was not alone in feeling that Africa needed to change to suit Spanish tastes. He said that thousands of Spanish supporters had signed a petition asking
FIFA to ban not only vuvuzelas but Africans as well. “Apparently when they bought their airline tickets nobody told them that Africa is full of Africans,” explained Laduma.

According to fan Ignacio Tortilla, the Confederations Cup has been an “ordeal”. “Wherever you look it’s just Africans,” he said. “Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not a racist, but do they really have to be so aggressive with all the singing and smiling and hand-shaking?” Florida de Porpoise, from Barcelona, said he would have no problem with Africans “if they only tried to be more European”.

“We’re not asking for a lot,” said de Porpoise. “Just perhaps a little hair relaxant, some cigarettes, and an overwhelming sense of the futility of hope.” Meanwhile, a delegation of South Africans has asked visiting Spaniards to stop lisping. “For God’s sake, English is our sixth language and we can still say ‘s’,”said Jumpstart Moloi, who led the delegation to the Spanish embassy this morning.

“It’s not Nelthon Mandela, okay? It’s Nelson. Nelssssson.” He also appealed to Spaniards to “think long and hard” before asking locals for directions to Thanton Thquare and the thocker thtadium at Thocker Thity. b”Spanish is just such a freaking ugly language,” said Moloi. “It’s all just ‘eth eth eth eth’. FIFA should do something.”

Page 7 of 7 «...34567