PRINCE Akishino and Princess Kiko Akishino of Japan have arrived in Livingstone for a two-day visit to sample tourism attractions in the tourism capital.
And Livingstone Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti hopes that the royal couple’s visit to the tourist capital will attract more Japanese investors to be part of the rapid development of the hospitality industry.
The royal couple, who flew into Livingstone, are accompanied by the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Nkandu Luo.
Prince Akishino, a member of the Japanese imperial family, is the second son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, currently second in line to the Chrysanthemum throne.
The couple was welcomed by Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Douglas Ngimbo, Livingstone district commissioner Omar Munsanje, Livingstone mayor Milford Mambo and other senior government officials.
Welcoming the royal couple, Ms Chikoti said Zambia and Japan have a long history of cooperation in road construction, health, culture, agriculture and sports.
“Your visit to Livingstone is historic and Government takes great cognisance and appreciation. Zambia is endowed with abundant natural and cultural resources. it is our sincere hope that your visit to Livingstone will leave an indelible mark for many years to come,” she said.
Ms Chikoti said Livingstone’s hosting of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly has resulted in an increased number of both domestic and international tourists.
She said the Livingstone Tourism Association has been instrumental in bringing different tourism stakeholders together so that different facets of the industry thrive and offer quality service to the clientele.
Ms Chikoti said Livingstone has capacity to accommodate more visitors in the tourism sector, which ranks highly on Government’s agenda.
“The Victoria Falls, one of the seven [natural] wonders of the world, offers a favourable atmosphere for leisure, the Mosi-oa-tunya game park, Livingstone museum and many other tourist destinations found in the city,” she said.
The Victoria F alls is 8th in the world with 1,088 cubic metres of water per second.
The couple visited Livingstone Museum, the Victoria Falls, the Baobab tree and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.
Today the couple will take a conducted bird, watching tour within the Royal Livingstone Hotel grounds.
Meanwhile, tight security at the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport caused a stir between security staff and some photojournalists.
Journalists were barred from taking pictures in an area where the national dance troupe was performing.
Zambia Daily Mail