• The beauty about international travel is the greater economic benefits that travellers bring to the country.
• When travellers come, they bring in FOREX.
• There are communities that benefit by way of direct and indirect jobs.
Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) says it expects to see more local and international travels this year to various tourism destinations in the country.
Agency Acting Chief Executive Officer Chavunga Lungu told Money FM News in an interview that international travel comes with greater economic benefits because travelers bring in Forex Exchange every time they visit the country.
Mr. Lungu stated that apart from bringing Foreign Exchange, international travelers also tend to spend more on various other activities along the way as they go to their different destinations, thereby boosting the tourism sector.
“Our prospects for 2022 are high; we want to see the numbers grow even further for local travels. We also want to see international travel; the beauty about international travel is that obviously because of the greater economic benefits that the travellers bring to the country. When they come, they bring in FOREX, apart from bringing FOREX they also spend in various other activities along the way as they go to the different destinations,” Mr. Lungu said.
He noted that local transporters, travel agencies and surrounding communities also benefit greatly from international travelers through direct and indirect jobs.
“There are communities also that benefit by way of direct and indirect jobs, there are others that benefit like transporters, tourism agencies. So what we want to see and our prospect is for more international travellers to travel,” he stated.
And Mr. Lungu said the Agency will ensure that even as travelers are being allowed in the country, they will still need to observe all the Covid protocols that government has put in place to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.
“However, even as I talk about international travellers traveling, the government is very careful also or making sure that we do not compromise the Covid protocols. So we are allowing travel, however, they will still be the observation of different Covid protocols that are given by the government. Government has still opened the country and international travellers at least for now are allowed to travel to the country,” Mr. Lungu added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lungu said performance of the tourism sector in 2021 was sustained by domestic travellers.
He observed that the sector did not see a lot of international tourists visiting Zambia due to Covid-19 travel restrictions but that there were many local people travelling to various destinations within the country.
“The Agency is happy with the performance of tourism in 2021, because 2021 like 2020 and the end of 2019, we all know that the effects of Covid-19 were still with us, so we did not see as many international travellers travel to the country, however, we saw lots of Zambians travelling to different destinations within Zambia. It was an opportunity for Zambians to discover places and travel to these particular places.”
“So performance of tourism was sustained by what we call domestic market or domestic travellers. So there was a high focus on domestic tourism, this is what sustained the industry,” Mr. Chavunga noted.