Tuesday, May 21, 2024

President Lungu was right to prioritize tourism – Mukwita

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Piran Coastline; Mayor Bossman and ambassador Mukwita
Piran Coastline; Mayor Bossman and ambassador Mukwita

President Edgar Lungu was right to raise the Ministry of Tourism to one of the major economic ministries because the sector has a lot to contribute to the development efforts currently underway in the country. Zambia’s ambassador to Germany Anthony Mukwita made the observation when he called on the Mayor of Piran, a Slovenian tourist destination on the coastlines of the Adriatic Sea bordering Italy and Croatia.

Ambassador Mukwita, who just presented his credentials to Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor as a non-resident ambassador wondered how Piran made money from tourism.

“For every tourist, we make 1, 50 euro in addition to a further small fee each hotel pays along with occasional leasing of municipality land or space for social functions”, says Dr. Peter Bossman, the Mayor of Piran.

Dr. Bossman, a Ghanaian-born black Mayor says the tourism sector in Piran has been growing between 8 and 10 percent per year and contributing to 80% of employment needs in the city. At national level, the Mayor says 20% of the country’s total tourism revenue comes from his municipality.

Piran’s major tourist attractions include the coastlines of the Adriatic Sea and the fact that it is one of the oldest cities in this part of Europe whose history is attractive to many tourists. Between April and October, the city sees the highest number of tourists mainly from nearby European countries such as Germany and Italy, among others.

“But how did a black man become a Mayor in a European town”, Ambassador Mukwita, almost apologetically asked Dr. Bossman, who comforted the Zambian envoy with a smile as he assured him that he has been asked the same question countless times and was always glad to share the story.

He was born in Ghana but traveled in several parts of the world because his father was a diplomat in the Ghanaian government. During the military rule of Lt Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong in the 70s, Peter was a young student at university in Ghana. But he was forced to flee the country when he took part in student protests against military rule and was earmarked for arrest.

The Yugoslav embassy gave him a visa and took up medical studies in then Yugoslavia. In the fourth year, he met his current wife with whom he has two daughters. He set up a private medical practice, which runs to this day. At one point, he had wanted to return home but says his patients wrote a petition demanding that he stays. “My father told me to stay if my patients needed me”, Dr. Bossman, whose father was equally a medical doctor recalls.

Coming from a political family, Dr. Bossman did not resist the temptation when he was asked to run as Mayor, a position he has held for the past eight years.

Reflecting on his interaction with the Piran Mayor, Ambassador Mukwita, sitting at one of the many restaurants located on the coastlines of the Adriatic Sea said, “I can understand why President Lungu raised the status of the Ministry of Tourism in his government: tourism can indeed alter the country’s economic fortunes for the better”.

PIRAN COASTLINE
PIRAN COASTLINE

14 COMMENTS

    • Correct , walking next to the mayor , he looks dressed like a teenage delinquent , not an ambassador…….who should want to tour a country who’s ambasodor looks like a teenage playboy ??

    • One thing Mukwita should learn is that it has to be a pleasant experience to stroll in our cities if we mean business with tourism. At present it is not. Show me any official who is concerned about this in the tourism ministry or the tourism agency.

    • Mukwita is a top tourist ambassador!
      What is this about telling us about Bossman and pictures of beach?

    • Lungu prioritizing tourism? That’s laughable. Kagame has prioritized tourism and you can see the results. How you claim to prioritize tourism and yet fail to keep the country clean ? We had to force him to clean up the country, after the deadly cholera epidemic that happened some months ago. Tourists want to visit a clean country. That’s why Rwanda is now a more popular destination than Zambia. Lungu doesn’t understand that. If you want tourism to grow in Zambia, clean up the country, and maintain a very high standard of cleanliness. Secondly, vigorously promote what Zambia has to offer, on Social media and everywhere. Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and many more African countries far surpass Zambia as popular destinations for tourists. Tourists would rather go through Zimbabwe, than…

    • (Continued)… Zambia, to see the Victoria falls. You need to wake up and find a way to attract tourists to Zambia. Don’t just talk about it.

  1. Is it Lungu or the Zambian Government that is looking at the tourism industry! You see when you deal with boot lickers they make it sound like ECL is a chief of a village who just orders these guys around. Instead of talking about a government policy, they talk about a president. When will our village mentality end!

  2. Zambia with the Victoria falls alone can rule tourism in Africa. I end there. Great read about Mayor Bossman.

  3. Mukwita why don’t you write another book all about how Lungú was sooooo right to prioritise tourism so you also can continue being a world tourist at government’s expense.

  4. Tourist love the road from Lusaka to Livingstone,especially the very good part from Kafue to Mazabuka,fix that bit right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Otherwise I will sue the government for health damages,broken backs etc.

  5. Ask this ambasodor who dresses like a 18 yr old pimp how many tourists he has managed to bring in from Germany ? Or sweeden where he was previously ?
    Probably none.

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