Tuesday, May 28, 2024

We can fight poverty with tourism, it’s a game changer – Chaila


Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA, Chief Executive Officer Felix Chaila
Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA, Chief Executive Officer Felix Chaila(L)

Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA, Chief Executive Officer Felix Chaila says the decision by the Zambian government to elevate the Ministry of Tourism to an economic ministry and second only to Agriculture is a recognition of the sector’s capacity to improve people’s lives.

Speaking in Berlin at the International Tourism Bourse, ITB, an international tourism and travel show, Mr. Chaila says globally the sector is ranked second only to the chemical industry. He says the sector has also, to a large extent, proved resilient in the face of global economic shocks that occasionally hit the world.

The ZTA Chief says tourism is going to be the game changer in Zambia’s quest to fight poverty and improve the living conditions of her people because its products and services are largely consumed at the point of production.

“We have huge tourism resources recognized by our leaders and recognized in Parliament, acknowledged by our people, its being debated every day. It’s going to be a game changer because when you open facilities at Kabwelume Waterfalls, you will employ the local people and place facilities just there”, Mr. Chaila says.

He says a value chain shall be established in which local people will be expected to be suppliers of such items as vegetables and other foodstuff produced locally. In addition, Mr. Chaila says local people will be suppliers of local works of art that tourists normally want to take with them as they return home after the holidays.

Mr. Chaila says to enable the sector play the game-changer role, it should now be well supported with resources beyond the current levels. He says he has seen government commitment to development as evidenced by the drastic transformation underway in the road sector and expresses confidence that the same shall be done for tourism.

As part of its commitment, the Zambian government secured the Convention and Culture Partnership of the 2018 ITB where stands were allocated to Zambian tour operators in the ZTA pavilion. The private sector responded in what has been acknowledged as overwhelming a manner.

During the weeklong event, a number of tour operators acknowledged holding qualitative meetings in which they secured deals from German-based tour operators that are responsible for facilitating visits out of the country.

The Berlin-based global show attracts on average 100,000 visitors daily, over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries. This year, the show officially opened on the 6th ending 11 of March.

Zambia’s Minister of Arts and Tourism Charles Banda represented the Zambian government while Zambia’s ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita led the embassy in Berlin.


  1. Finally this incompetent moron has woken up. There is so much potential for tourism in Zambia but like everything else, i all ends up on potential. Go to livingstone, why is hotel occupancy at 30 percent and twice as much on the Zim side? Why do we have less tourists arrivals that Botswana, a country of only 2 million people?

    • I can tell you,because Zambia is to expensive,Service soso…allready arriving on the airport in Lusaka is at times a nightmare.However you have a beautifull country with friendly people.DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and dont just talk……

  2. What is your tribe Obatala? Just to understand your negative comments on Tourism Chief Executive Felix Chaila. Only way way to understand upndeez comments otherwise you are left confused.

    • I come from Chishamwaba areas, a place beautifully endowed with natural tourist attractions but severely underdeveloped. As long as morons like @upnd cadre see tribe everything, this country will never develop. I am proud northerner from Mporokoso (Mupolokoso) who know what is is good for the country, unfortunately it is not PF and clueless Edgar

    • The PF are not interested in citizenship but tribe. The proof is what you see from the posting above. Go to lower Zambezi and see for yourself why the place is so expensive. Lodge owners have to maintain the roads themselves and have to pass down that cost to the room rate. Dream on Felix Chaila.

  3. Before you present your aspirations at the Tourism Börse, make sure you fix the conditions and services back home, especially infrastructure and the national airline.

    Prices must be fair too, offering tourists the best quality for their money and the guarantee for high reliability in the services offered. It only takes a few dissatisfied travellers to ruin the prospects of a booming tourism industry.

  4. Did these foools at Zambia Tourism Agency, ZTA hit their tourist visitor number target of 1,000,000 last year they lamentably failed….anyway I guess figures mean nothing to a dull President like Lazy Lungu.

  5. @ Obatala: Zim will remain more attractive than Zambia as long as accommodation charges in the latter remain rediculously high.

  6. As things stand maybe leasing out the national parks with set target numbers of employment , wild animal and revenue generation would not be a bad idea.

    If it were to go that way it would be advisable to lease out whole blocks as opposed to breaking up the parks into small game ranchers….

    As a pilot project lease out one whole park to Germany with conditions of employment and community empowerment.
    I have in past been against such but if it is done properly , the parks will remain intact and be a major GDP contributer.

    • Such a bold move should only be attempted with people or countries who have nature conservation as a guiding principle….avoid Asians of any sort.

    • If one game park can generate $200 million/pa in cash and another $200 million in employment and other indirect benefits while our animals and parks are being looked after well with local communities and zambians benefiting directly from specialist employment …….maybe…. consult.

    • Countries don’t sponsor parks, some international zoos do but let many operators get concessions but at reasonable rates and have entry fees and bed taxes, then everyone benefits after all 6 months of the yr there are no tourists during the rainy season but costs are still there. people plan there holiday on the internet and they can see value for money in bots or SA or Namibia.
      also wake up and treat Zim as a Competitor not a friend they are selling the same product. Are Shoprite and Pick and pay friends in Business- No . Felix seems to think Zam and Zim should do marketing together and the uni-visa is wonderful for Zambia, who benefits Zim not us. the person arrive at Livingstone airport get picked up by a Zim company with a Zim bus and are driven to Zim and not seen again til their…

  7. Do pipp want to come and stay where sanitation is poor, indifferent service, poor roads, dilapidated trains, limited hot water, dirty buses, filthy bus stations., . Lets fix the welfare of the 75% of pipo living in poverty. Train pipo in expected norms of service , make zambia affordable, taxes are too high and now tourist operators are hit with a tax on bores and water.
    Whey have had 54 years to attain mjddle class status and have not yet pipo are being led to believe in 12 years we can achieve that status. Do not give pipo with limited education false hopes

  8. Which potential can you exploit without investment? Ngoma in KNP only has one reliable vehicle with demoralized Wildlife Police Officers who do not even get rations on time for their patrols, but Ministers drive vehicles worth K1.8m each!

  9. First the reason prices in Zambia are higher is because of the govt levees and taxes that are charged to operators these are then past on to the tourist, Zambia charges the highest visa fee in the region to 40 countries SA, Nambia and Bots are free , zim $25 ZAMBIA $50. There is no real tourism training schools so standards are very average compared to say Bots or Zim. Large companies like African parks ltd run and hold 7% of Zambian land but pay the Govt less than $100,000 yr. one lease in Bots in the Delta is $150,000.
    let the private sector run tourism and then more Zambians will have jobs and Govt gets more tax. none of these Govt Tourism People know anything about running a tourism business or marketing they only know about free overseas shopping trips

  10. Tourism is a top priority. ZTA needs to be strengthened. The Ministry of Tourism needs to be strengthened. Tourism is a big employer. Tourism generates huge foreign exchange. The revenue spreads across sectors, including transportation, accommodation, communication, gastronomy, souvenirs, gifts, etc. If you love agriculture, then tourism is the vehicle. If you love manufacturing, then tourism is the vehicle. Tourism is the vehicle of development. Minimum investment, maximum return.

  11. Felix Chaila is a fossil and has been in this sector for decades and has not brought any gains. Why do we keep people who are not productive? Why does he have the role and title when he has failed at boosting tourism? This is what is wrong with Zambia by hiring incompetent staff. He is getting a paycheck every month to talk and not be productive. Charles Banda is another one who is clueless and all he does is regurgitate stuff form 10 years ago he researches on line. We need young educated minds with degrees to mange this sector if it is to thrive. Time’s up and these guys need to be fired! We need brains, innovation and strategic management if tourism is to be boosted. And some of Felix Chaila’s claims do not make much sense. Some of them he is making them up as he goes.

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