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‘No more tourism potential talk’

“I AM tired of talking about the potential of the tourism industry, because we in Zambia we have been talking about potential of this country for many years,” President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

Speaking before holding a closed-door meeting with the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) board members, President Hichilema called for more action rather than words in the promotion of international and domestic tourism.

He said the role of the tourism sector in contributing to the expected economic growth in the country was critical and that the industry had great potential.

Mr Hichilema commended the ZTA board for coming up with the 2023 destination Zambia marketing plan which spoke to the aspirations of the New Dawn Government in realising the full potential of the tourism industry.

“I am delighted that you are helping me to smoothen my tiredness by basically launching a plan to increase tourism businesses and tourist in- flows. Also I am delighted to hear that you are targeting the quantum in terms of the increase in the number of tourists and also the length of stay which is important and lead to additional days spent when they are here,” Mr Hichilema said.

He said the Government was keen to see how ZTA boost domestic tourism as a backbone of occupancy levels and that it was important for the whole country.

President Hichilema called on the Tourism Minister to set up a meeting between the ZTA board and the Treasury to look at issues that needed to be addressed to grow the tourism industry.

Mr Hichilema said investors should continue making investments and ride on the already proven product.

He called on the ZTA board to take advantage and unlock the tourism potential of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Power Station project.

Mr Hichilema said both the Government and the ZTA board should visualise how they could actually tag tourism around the Batoka Gorge Project.

“Just the power station, that is a site that if you are visionary enough, connect country it to Livingstone and you will be able to develop a product around here incorporating that site,” Mr Hichilema said.

ZTA Board Chairperson Daan Brink thanked the head of State for dedicating his time to being the chief marketing officer for the country.

Mr Brink said the board was confident that the tourism industry would thrive under the New Dawn Government, owing to the progressive policies and pronouncements that supported the industry.


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