A BIG number of French tourists are planning to visit Zambia and explore the country’s vast tourism products, the Zambian Embassy in France has disclosed.
First Secretary in charge of tourism Percy Ngwira said in a press statement yesterday that, many French tourists have expressed interest to explore Zambia’s tourism potential.
Mr Ngwira, who is also United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Liaison Officer for Zambia in France said, France was seeking to double the number of its tourists coming to visit Zambia.
He said Attract, a French marketing and public relations (PR) Company, is helping to attract more French tourists to Zambia.
Early this week, Attract president Philippe Mugnier paid a courtesy call on Embassy Charge De Affairs Ms Philomena Kachesa in Paris where he outlined his company’s role in promoting French tourists to visit Zambia.
Mr Mugnier said his company had received a number of enquiries from many outbound tour operators in France who would like to start sending their clients to Zambia.
“Morocco, Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia have remained traditional destinations for the French in Africa but recently they are seeking new destinations with a different offering and Zambia is becoming one of the top destinations on the list of French tourists,” Mr Mugnier said.
He said the Netherlands’s KLM airlines, which flies into Zambia in partnership with Air France and other airlines, had also presented a great opportunity as the travel time had become shorter.
Mr Mugnier noted that a French tourist could travel and arrive in Zambia same day observed Mr Mugnier.
He said that though domestic tourism is more popular among the French taking about 70 per cent of the French tours, Africa received the largest share of the outbound French tourists accounting for 10 per cent share.
“Zambia has a greater opportunity to attract more tourists from Europe because it’s centrally located and very peaceful country,” Mr Magnier said.
In response, Ms Kachesa said Zambia had a lot of other tourism attractions apart from the famous Victoria Falls which had not been explored yet and French tourists would have more than enough to do and see in Zambia.
Ms Kachesa said the Embassy in Paris was working hard in collaboration with the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) to increase the marketing and PR activities in France to make known to the French what Zambia had to offer in terms of tourism.
Zambia was one of the undiscovered gems of Africa and the French tourists would not be disappointed.
The Charge de Affairs appealed to Mr Mugnier to work closely with the Embassy as he recommends Zambia to the outbound tour operators.
“After the co-hosting the 20th Session UNWTO General Assembly, an event which was described as one of the successful events in the history of the UNWTO General Assemblies, the Embassy in France has witnessed an increase in enquiries of the French wanting to visit Zambia,” she said.