PROFLIGHT Zambia has urged the National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) to reduce departure fees for domestic flights to boost local tourism.
But NACL managing director Robinson Misitala says Zambia’s departure fees are the cheapest in the Southern Africa region.
Proflight commercial director Keira Irwin says the current fee of KR58 (K58, 000) meant KR116 (K116,000) for a domestic round trip.
“We would urge NACL to reduce departure fees for domestic travel…for a family of four this means KR464 (K464,000), it is our belief that a reduction in these fees would further boost domestic tourism and together we can make it more affordable,” she said.
Ms Irwin said domestic tourism has the potential to grow the economy and improve people’s disposable income.
In an interview in Lusaka, she said reduction in domestic departure fees can stimulate tourism growth.
She said the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) scheduled for Livingstone this August will bring a lot of positive exposure for the country, putting Zambia on the world map for both business and tourism.
“The UNWTO will be a significant milestone for Zambia’s tourism and if we can get the volumes out of that, we will see significant increase in the number of tourists flow. A lot of people out there are so ignorant on Zambia and the summit will be an eye-opener to many visitors,” she said.
Ms Irwin said Zambia has a strong growing economy that requires an efficient air transport to cater for the booming business and mining activities.
“The airline industry is driven primarily by business activity, for international tourism to grow in Zambia, we need better infrastructure, such as all-weather roads in the national parks,” she said.
She said the airline is working closely with the local travel agents and the international in-bound tour operators from Europe, United States of America, Australia and South Africa to market the country’s tourism.
In a separate interview, Mr Misitala said Zambia’s airport charges are competitive and much lower when compared to neighbouring countries.
He said Zambia’s international passenger service charge is US$25 while Zimbabwe charged US$35. Zambia’s domestic passenger service charge is US$8 and Zimbabwe US$10.
Zambia also charges an aviation security fee of US$5 for international and three dollars for domestic while Zimbabwe has no this charge.
He however said Zimbabwe also has an aviation infrastructure development charge of US$15 for international travel while Zambia has none.
“An international passenger in Zambia pays a total of $30.00 while in Zimbabwe they pay $50.00 and a domestic passenger in Zambia pays a total $11.00 while in Zimbabwe $15.00. If you look at South Africa, the charges are higher than Zambia,” he said.
Mr Misitala further questioned why Proflight is charging KR30 (K30,000) for one-way ticket service fee when a traveller is buying an online E-ticket and have to print on their own.