Zambia is on course to attain the projected 1.2 million international tourist arrivals by the end of the year despite the Ebola epidemic.
Meanwhile, Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) chairperson Felix Mulenga has said the Ebola outbreak would impact negatively on the growth of the tourism sector in Africa including Zambia.
Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Steven Mwansa said despite the Ebola outbreak in Africa, Mr Mwansa was positive that Zambia would achieve its target of 1.2 million international tourist arrivals, because of the various marketing measures put in place to attract more tourists this year.
Mr Mwansa assured international tourists that Zambia was a safe place for both local and international travellers, adding that various precautionary measures were in place to ensure Ebola did not reach Zambia.
An outbreak of the Ebola disease began in Guinea in December 2013, leading to the spread of the epidemic in West Africa. The outbreak has now spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Mwansa said despite the outbreak being a public health emergency of international concern, Zambia was not on the ladder of the hit affected countries.
Zambia recorded an increase in the number of international arrivals by 6.7 percent, from 859,088 in 2012 to 912,576 in 2013.
Among the tourist products that contribute to the number of international arrivals include holiday category, Meeting Incentive Conferences and Events.
Zambia’s key markets are South Africa, China, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe, India, Tanzania, United States of America, Kenya, Germany and Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) chairperson Felix Mulenga said the Ebola outbreak would impact negatively on the growth of the tourism sector in Africa including Zambia.
Mr Mulenga said the outbreak would affect the numbers of international tourist arrivals for Zambia as well as Africa.
“The Ebola virus is a challenge to the tourism sector in Africa as a whole just by the random spreading of the virus. If you have seen a number of conferences and workshops which were supposed to be held in Africa have being cancelled or postponed. This will definitely impact on the numbers of international arrivals for Africa as well as Zambia,” he said.
Mr Mulenga said there was need to increase of the level of awareness about Zambia as a tourist destination in the key markets.
Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News