Minister of Tourism Hon. Rodney Sikumba has called on African countries to unite in marketing the continent’s rich and diverse tourism.
During a panel discussion at the ongoing ITB Berlin tourism trade show in Germany, Hon. Sikumba said African countries are not in competition and should be talking about working in collaboration.
He pointed out that tourists can easily roam across Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola without major challenge as the region is land linked. The Minister noted that the region has the largest concentration of elephants and shares diverse nature.
Hon. Sikumba observed that German was a top tier tourism market in the European Union and Zambia is pushing to hold the German tourists longer as they are high spending long term visitors.
He said it would be easy to hold tourists longer in the region if countries coordinated in marketing the diverse tourism products.
The Minister implored the Germans to invest in the many opportunities available in the tourism sector in Zambia. Hon. Sikumba stated that with good investment, the sector can be used to create more jobs for unemployed youths.
Hon. Sikumba said the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP pre-Covid era was seven percent and is expected to increase in 2024 owing to, among other factors, marketing of the country as a good destination through trade shows and ITB.
The panel discussion was themed: Investment in Africa benefits Tourism Development: How can Africa sustainability grow?