ITALIAN President Sergio Mattarella has pledged to be Zambia’s tourism ambassador and market the country’s tourism potential to Italy and the rest of the world.
Speaking after touring the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site and the Mosi ao tunya National Park in Livingstone yesterday, Mr Mattarella said he was going to tell the whole world that Livingstone was one of the most beautiful places on earth.
He said Livingstone had some of the most unique tourist attractions that the world needed to see and appreciate.
Mr Mattarella called on the Government to ensure that the tourism and heritage sies were preserved for future generations.
He said the Italian Government appreciated the cordial relations that existed between the two countries.
“It is a privilege to be here in Livingstone, its attraction is something which are one of a kind and I will be personally conveying the message that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There is a strong friendship between Italy and Zambia and I am happy with the conservation that we had with President Hakainde Hichilema,” Mr Mattarella said.
Italian Ambassador to Zambia Antonio Maggiore said the visit to the Victoria Falls by the Italian head of State was a tribute to the beauty and the potential of the world heritage site and its environment.
Mr Maggiore said Zamia was becoming more aware of the fact that natural resources can make a difference for economic prosperity and wealth of the people.
He said the New Dawn Government must make full use of the natural resources and ensure that the maximum revenue is collected and the growth of the country is supported.
The Italian ambassador said the visit of Mr Mattarella was also an historic moment and an indication that the Italia President was giving full support to the democratic principles of President Hakainde Hichilema and the New Dawn Government. Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa thanked the Italian President for taking time to visit the Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world.
Mr Mweetwa said the presence of the foreign head of Sate was testament that Zambia was now in the champions league and a peaceful nation.
“We want to take advantage of your presence with your permission to bestow upon you the status of number one President ambassador for Zambia, out there marketing the Victoria Falls,” he said
He said the Government respected human rights and that President Hichilema had restored the rule of law.
Mr Mweetwa said Zambia was on a journey of economic emancipation transformation, adding that the journey could not be fulfilled without the participation of Italy.
Mr Mattarella who later inspected a guard of honor mounted for him by the Zambia Army at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone left for Italy after a three-day State visit.