PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says in the new normal and beyond, it should be made easy for Zambians, including public servants, to take holidays in the country’s tourist locations.
Livingstone, host to the mighty Victoria Falls and the Mosi oa Tunya National Park, is Zambia’s tourist capital and is usually the first point of reference for vacationers – serious ones and mere admirers.
However, other places like Samfya in Luapula Province, Sioma in Western Province, South Luangwa National Park in Mambwe district, Eastern Province and Siavonga in Southern Province are tranquil holiday destinations.
The Kafue National Park, too, has a number of tourist attractions and restful spots.
In his speech in Parliament when he opened the fifth session on Friday, President Lungu said tourism remains one of the key sectors in Zambia’s efforts to diversify the economy and create jobs her people.
The Head of State was cognisant that the tourism sector had been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to its over-reliance on foreign tourists.
“In the first half of this year, the wildlife sub-sector alone lost an estimated US$90 million and 7,072 jobs,” President Lungu said.
“Current projections are that the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product will be less than one per cent this year. To reverse the negative trend, it is imperative that all the players in the tourism sector embrace innovation in order to sustain their businesses.”
He added that now is the time for the tourism sector to seriously consider tapping into the potential of local tourists.
“In the ‘new normal’ and beyond, let us make it easy for our people, including public servants, to take holidays in our tourist locations,” said President Lungu.
©Kalemba September 12, 2020