By OLIVER SAMBOKO
WITHOUT investing in good roads and Air transport to tour sites, the country should forget about becoming the regional tourism hub, says Tourism specialist Rose Musonda.
Commenting on Zambia’s participation at the 2022 World Dubai Expo, where the country show cased its tourism potential, Ms Musonda said as long as attention is not paid to improve connectivity, the country will continue failing to attract tourists considering the stiff competition from other countries in the region.
She said it’s now time for the country to summon all its financial resources generated from tourism towards improving access to tour sites dotted across the country.
Ms Musonda said while Zambia participation at bigger stages like the Dubai expo, is very important in marketing the country, more needs to be done to ensure that the tourists who will be coming to sample the country’s tourism, do so without limitation due to poor connectivity.
She also warned that the reason why many tourists have been shunning Zambia as their tourism destination is because the country has failed to improve air transport infrastructure, which is cardinal as over 60 percent of international tourists prefer traveling by air.
“Lack of road and air connectivity to tour sites still remains a big obstacle which needs to be addressed by government if the country is to start benefiting from its effort of making tourism one of its key economic drivers,” she said.
She said Zambia should take advantage of its strategic geographical position in the region to attract more visitors and tourists, but that this can only be achieved once the country starts investing in road and air transport for easy connectivity.
Ms Musonda said aviation is indispensable for tourism, a major engine of economic growth, particularly in emerging economies like Zambia which traditionally only depended on mining as a major economic activity.