Zambia has intensified its push to re-establish a national airline to help boost the tourism industry in line with the new government’s plan to re-align tourism as one of the frontline economic sectors.
And London has opened discussions with prospecting investors who are proposing to lease out aircraft to Zambia for the establishment of a national carrier.
Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts, David Phiri, who is leading the Zambian delegation at the 2012 World Tourism Market (WTM) in London, says it has become evidently clear that the country’s tourism sector will not get to its desired position without a national airline.
This is contained in a media statement issued by the Press Secretary to the Zambian High Commission in London, Amos Chanda.
“The question of connectivity is a central factor in the development of Zambia’s tourism sector. This can only come about where there is a viable national airline.
“There is consensus in both government and industry that Zambia needs a viable national airline and I know that President Sata is keen on this,’ Mr Phiri said.
The Deputy Minister said the PF administration has allocated unprecedented amounts of money to the tourism industry and provided generous tax incentives for the next five years for Zambians wishing to develop tourism infrastructure in national parks.
“What the new government has done is unprecedented in the history of our country and we are determined as a ministry not to fail the President in his bold and broad vision to rejuvenate this important sector of the economy,” he said.
Mr Phiri noted that the efforts to rejuvenate the tourism industry will bear much fruit once the problem of connectivity is resolved through the establishment of a national carrier.
The minister’s delegation includes the Permanet Secretary, Charity Mwansa, Zambia Tourism Board Managing Director, Felix Chaila and senior staff from the ministry.
The deputy minister was expected later this afternoon to host cocktail for tour operators and leading media outlets in London at the Zambia Stand at Excel Centre, UK premier exhibition arena.
The World Travel Market is a global networking exhibition staged annually in London as the leading Global Event for the travel industry providing a vibrant business event with a diverse range of destinations and industry sector to the UK and international travel professionals.