Zambia ponders tourism partnership with Ghana

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TOURISM
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ZAMBIA and Ghana are currently assessing the possibility of crafting a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote collaboration in the area of tourism, Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) managing director Felix Chaila has said.

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Mr Chaila said some areas which had been identified for collaboration are benchmarking as well as cultural exchange and joint tourism marketing.

He said Zambia had certain strengths in the area of tourism which Ghana did not have and Ghana also had certain strength which Zambia did not have and hence, it was important that the destinations are collaborated.

Mr Chaila was speaking in an interview at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone during a meeting held between Zambian and Ghanaian tour operators.

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“We are trying to collaborate with a market in Ghana which has more than one million leisure tourist arrivals in a year compared to ours at 250, 000 in a year.

Mr Chaila also said Ghana had direct flights to Europe and United States of America and the distance to the two markers was shorter, hence European and American tourists who visit Ghana could extend their visit to Zambia.

Speaking at the same function, Ghana Tourism Development Company chief executive officer Samuel Atta Mills said tourism in Ghana and West Africa was unique as the region still had places where slave trade was experienced.

“We also have chiefs who dress in gold and diamonds as well as great music and this attracts a lot of people.

We are near Europe and USA and that makes us the best strategic location. Further, we have peace in Ghana and crime is very low,” he said.

Mr Mills said Zambia had done a very good job to market tourism but the kind of products was different from those in Ghana.

“Your Victoria Falls is bigger and better than our waterfalls in Ghana.

Once we start collaborating, tourists will come to Ghana for two weeks and extend their visit to Zambia instead of going back to their countries and come to Zambia the following year,” he said.

Mr Mills said Africa had a huge potential for tourism and it was important that Africans tell their story to the outside world.

“I lived in USA for 30 years and what I was told about Africa was that it was a continent of wars and poverty and yet we in Africa have a big story to tell on our culture.

Let’s tell our story as Africans. It is only in Africa that you can find huge deposits of diamond, manganese and copper as well as Big Five animals and Victoria Falls among others,” he said.

Times of Zambia

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