Australian born Brian Ashley said despite a few challenges, the Zambian tourism industry was headed for boom and attributed this to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference which was held in the country last year.
The exposure of the country’s tourism potential during the UNWTO conference last year is expected to attract a big number of tourists back to Zambia in 2014.
Mr Ashley who attended the historical event co-hosted with Zimbabwe last August, said a number delegates were impressed with some of the tourism products that Zambia had to offer.
In addition, the Victorial Falls as well as, other attractions including the environmental set up and hospitality, were among the reasons Zambia was expected to increase tourist arrivals during the year.
“Zambia will be among the most promissing tourist destinations in 2014 because of the exposure of the country’s tourism potential during the UNWTO last year. This also goes with attractions like the Victoria Falls, hospitality and environmental set up,” Mr Ashley said.
He however, said there was need for the Government to look into some of the challenges the industry was facing in the wake of stiff competition from neighbouring countries.
Some products in neighbouring countries were more afffordable than in Zambia but was quick to say that issues such as high visa fees and other forms of taxes could hinder growth and limit tourist arrivals.
Zambia and Zimbabwe last year, co-hosted the UNWTO conference in Livingstone and the Victoria Falls Town respectively.
Although the country’s tourist arrivals have been improving in the past year’s recording not less than 750,000, there is an urgent need to ensure that challenges in the industry are tackled to spur growth and employment creation.
Times of Zambia