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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

WTO Supports Zambia Safari Efforts

Safari meetings and conferences are happening in Zambia. But that’s because the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) has recognized the country as the number one emerging tourism destination in Africa.

The Holiday Inn in Lusaka recently hosted a regional workshop on building competition and quality systems for African tourism. WTO deputy secretary-general David de Villiers urged African governments to provide leadership in promoting and developing the tourism industry. The private sector initiative is key and we couldn’t agree more.

The reason for this meeting was simple. Africa today gets less than three percent of international tourist arrivals despite its great endowment in natural and cultural tourism. But a turn around is imminent and African safari will attract more and more tourists. And Zambia safari is a key player.

A special programme for Africa, the Sustainable Tourism for Elimination of Poverty (STEP) is an initiative supported by WTO. Ousmane Ndiaye the Africa region representative for WTO anticipates Africa is moving forward in tourism.

Zambian tourism minister Kabinga Pande supports this view. He said Zambia was revising the tourism Act in order to respond to the demand for quality in hospitality industry. The focus should be regional packaging of tourism products in Africa. And training is a must.

And who wants to join? Safari enterprises are becoming much easier to get in Zambia.


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