I think the only part of this I really agree with is that we need more tourists. How many surveys and marketing plans do we need before common sense prevails and the obvious things are tackled – like the reintroduction of visa fee waivers for pre-booked bona fide tourists staying 2 nights or more, full and permanent VAT concessions, infrastructure improvements – electricity and water supply priority for tourist designated areas, roads, air links etc. And, of course, a fully funded and well managed Zambia National Tourist Board to promote our beautiful country overseas. Anyway:
“THE Tourism Council of Zambia says Zambia needs about 3.5 million tourist visitors annually to effectively contribute to new jobs and wealth creation. Council chairman Mark O’Donnell said Zambia does not get a fair share of tourism earnings with only 900,000 visitors expected in the country this year.
Mr O’Donnell, who is also Union Gold chairman, said this in Lusaka during a media training on Communicating Investment Climate Reforms in Lusaka. He, however, said the TCZ has engaged a foreign consultant on how to package and market Zambia in order to earn about US$300 million from visitors thereby creating investment opportunities.
“It is essential that changes take place, because the reforms are one way of improving the private sector business environment…we want to see the number of visitors increase and experience the best culture, adventure and wildlife,” he said. Mr O’Donnell called for reduction in the number of licences which he said breeds corruption.
“Tourism has been held back in Zambia because of some bureaucratic tendencies and red tape and through the Private Sector Development Reform Programme, we want to see these things changed,” he said.
He said the reforms in the Tourism and Hospitality Act will benefit the world’s largest industry to conform to best global standards to attract visitors, hence create jobs, wealth and generate revenue for Government which can be invested in infrastructure.”