Lusaka has the potential to help reach Zambia’s target of 1 million tourists per year by ensuring that business travellers to the capital city enjoy their stay beyond conferencing, meetings and workshops. Business travellers to Lusaka are an untapped market for tourism and Zambia has not taken advantage of the capital city’s central location for international and regional business meetings and conferences.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, business tourists accounted for 54 percent of the total visitors to Zambia in 2015. Conference arrivals in the same year totaled 22, 902 to represent an increase of 9 percent from the previous year.
Promotion of tourism activities and facilities in and around Lusaka could position the city as more than a destination for business conferencing and register increased revenue from tourist visits to museums, national monuments, game parks, cultural and sporting events.
Taj Pamodzi general manager Rajeev Khanna says the capital city attracts a high number of business travelers for conferences and meetings, with majority of them coming to Lusaka and leaving without experiencing facilities such as the Lusaka National Park, Munda Wanga Environmental Park or First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda’s former home in Chilenje.
“At Taj Pamodzi, we’re always looking to go beyond our offer of international class conferencing and meeting facilities for business travelers. We do this by promoting tourist activities that a business or government executive from out of the country can enjoy while staying in Lusaka. The secret to making Lusaka more than a conferencing destination is to cross-sell the recreational and entertainment facilities and experiences within or around the capital city,” he says.
Khanna adds that as part of the global five star Taj Group of hotels, Taj Pamodzi remains committed to providing leading class luxury hospitality, conferencing, recreation and dining in its quest to promote Zambia’s tourism sector.
He notes that Taj Pamodzi has the largest conferencing venue among Lusaka’s hotels, accommodating up to 500 international delegates, all of who are potential tourists that can explore and experience Lusaka’s dormant tourism hotspots.
“Our vision is to provide our guests with international level services while promoting Lusaka’s tourism potential. Taj Pamodzi understands role that tourism plays in the development of the country, as it contributed 3.4 percent to the GDP in 2015. It is for this reason that we’re calling on service providers in entertainment and recreation to collaborate with us in providing an all-round experience for travelers to the capital city,” Khanna said.
Zambia recorded a total of 931,782 international tourists arrivals in 2015 compared to 946,969 tourists in 2014 resulting in a decline of 1.6 percent. Out of the 53.3 million international tourists’ arrivals to Africa, Zambia received only 1.7 percent of the total tourists’ arrivals in Africa.