Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Evans Muhanga has described the just ended 2023 ITB Travel Trade Show in Berlin as an important event that provided an opportunity for Zambia to expand its source for tourism investment
Mr. Muhanga who led the Zambian delegation to this year’s ITB Berlin Trade Show told a media briefing that the Zambia Tourism Agency and the private sector were in Berlin to look for their source market and pointed out that Zambia was a peaceful and secure environment adding that tourism cannot thrive in the absence of peace.
He stressed that Zambia has revised its visa regime and tourists from most of the country’s source markets are now able to enter the country without visas adding that this has helped to reduce entry procedures and has further increased length of stay in the country leading to increased expenditure by tourists.
Mr. Muhanga said before the covid pandemic Zambia was attracting over 1,300,000 tourists annually but this figure dropped to 500,000. He however noted that the number has now increased to over 800,000 tourists last year.
He said Zambia was looking for investors to invest in the tourism and travel industry and boasted that the country has 20 national parks and 36 game management areas, one bird sanctuary and one wildlife sanctuary and also has the second largest migration of wildebeests in the Liuwa national park.
Mr. Muhanga explained that Livingstone was the country’s prime destination but efforts have been put in place to connect tourists to other destinations like South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks.
And Charge D’Affaires at the Zambian Embassy in Berlin Dorcas Chileshe says this year’s ITB Travel Trade Show has brought out insights from the many bilateral meetings and engagements and promised that the embassy will make follow-ups on the engagements.
The Zambia Tourism Agency was at this year’s ITB to tap into new and existing markets and had co-exhibitors from the private sector that included Voyager Zambia, Chikunto Safaris, Mbizi West Safaris, Mukambi Safaris and Wild Dog Nature Safaris. Other exhibitors were Konkamoya Lodge, Winning Travel and Tours, Aventura Safaris Zambia, Livingstone Adventure, Mozhi Bush Camp and Radison Blu Mosi-Oa-Tunya Livingstone Resort.
The ITB is the world’s largest tourism trade fair and attracts hotels, tourist boards and agencies, tour operators, system providers, airlines and car rental companies and takes place annually in March at Messe Berlin and attracts over 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries.