Friday, April 19, 2024

Diversification of the Zambian economy: Airport ideas for Zambia Tourist Board

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By Aristide Bance

I came across an article on the 10th of May, 2020 written by Benedict Tembo titled “ Who owns Victoria Falls? “ The opening lines were as follows:
“Victoria Falls is ours, not yours, Zambia tells SA, but tourism experts blame poor marketing for confusion.”
In the article, it is also outlined by Mr. Tembo that South African tour operators have taken advantage of the fact that Victoria Falls is one and half hours by air from Johannesburg and through sleight of hand advertising, promote it as one of its own tourism hotspots.

The very same way Zimbabwe has beaten Zambia to the Victoria Falls; South Africa has seen the weakness in the Zambia Tourist Board and their marketing will and have taken to basically stealing the Mighty Victoria Falls under our noses.

I had to set a premise of this article before I could start on the idea I just thought of. The Zambia Tourist Board (ZTB) is free to take the idea if they feel it will add value to their operations. We are currently battling Covid-19 as a global pandemic and many sectors of the global economies are suffering. One sector being the tourism sector. The global pandemic has forever changed the world we live in and what we do after this is very crucial to jump starting any country’s economy. The tourism industry has felt the wrath and may add fuel to fears of travelling but nonetheless, there are people who will want to travel more after the pandemic is gone. The Zambia Tourist Board should take advantage of the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport being constructed, as it is to become an Airport City. The board can establish a mini museum at the ultra-modern facility to show case Zambia’s tourist attractions. I have not been to the Livingstone Airport but that one can serve as a good ground to showcase the Tourist Capital’s biggest asset, the Mighty Victoria Falls. The creation of such museums is a job creation strategy, which may lead to diversification of the Zambian economy.

I am not suggesting that the Zambia Tourist Board start with a mega big museum, as I know issues of budget and money may come into play. The board can start small and build up on that blueprint. I have come through the airport gates in Lusaka with a number of my foreign friends and what these people want to see is more than the two boutiques and memorabilia shops that the airport has currently. Making the new Kenneth Kaunda International Airport into an Airport City means having an array of activities to choose from. Being at the airport waiting for a flight should not be a punishment. Another idea that the Zambia Tourist Board can have is just a simple International Tourist Bureau where people can book for local transport and get information about the city they are in. For the International Tourist Bureau to be functional, the board can simply transfer and replicate their daily activities. It is a pity to land in Lusaka at the international airport and not have a simple information booth that can provide one with information. This, if executed properly has the potential to create jobs because there is an informational element in it and technology can also be incorporated.

As the frenzy of having shopping malls in Zambia is still at its height, I know there are going to be shopping malls at the Airport City, but having other amenities at an airport can help in the international ranking of an airport. The Zambia Tourist Board can also have a cultural centre in similar fashion as a museum in a bid to highlight the Zambian life. A good example of where this has been implemented is the Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea where the Traditional Korean Cultural Experience Zone offers a taste of Korean Culture. At this centre, tourists can make traditional crafts, such as Hanji, traditional Korean paper, or Dancheong, paintwork on wooden buildings and tourists can try for Korean clothing and accessories and pose for a photo. As a tourist, one can also take part in a musical performance.

Another initiative that the Zambia Tourist Board can look at is embracing the technological era by making use of an e-book library, which tourists can utilise and maybe buy books at good prices. This is taking into account that nowadays, people travel with reading tablets and may want books on the go.

In conclusion, the Zambia Tourist Board should become more aggressive and not waste time fighting other aggressive marketers who are also in the game. The ball is in your court, Zambia Tourist Board, take the bull by its horns and control your own destiny.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Well articulated article, The idea of a Mini Museum at the Ultra Morden airport facility is excellent, am excited because we still have great minds in Zambia. My wish is that this idea comes to life because passengers on transit can know more about Zambia and the Victoria falls etc.

  2. And who owns the KKIA? Its probably the very same South African operators or even worse, Bank of the Peoples Republic of Wuhan.

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  3. Good points! To add, it’s a game of strategy – one has to evolve in order to do business in this day and age – this involves finding competitive ways to leverage the international community and get the most value out of our offerings for the benefit of Zambians.

  4. My man they are too lazy to think of such things…. when you tell them they say we can not be told anything by the west.
    A native is only good at drinking, making babies and going to church.

  5. Aristide Bancé is a Burkinabé professional footballer …why are you hiding behind an alias? If you are going to hide behind an alias at least tell us your background. Your message is all over the place be concise!!

  6. KKIA and all these airports funded by China Eximbank will soon be owned by the Chinks once their Wuhan disease they created destroys economies…already Lungu is on his knees trying to negotiate the unsustainable loans he obtained for grossly inflated projects like KKIA.

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  7. Sometimes when one has nothing positive to add..its just better to stay quiet. This article brings good points and the issue of asking about the author is neither here nor there..if that starts, the message will get lost. It is funny because the people who are asking who Aristide Bance is are also using pseudo-names…hehehehe

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  8. I enjoy reading articles like this because I like progressive ideas. We need more Zambians with positive energy and optimism in Covid-19 times. Zambians must turn the tide and grasp opportunities to run the country’s affairs.

    It goes beyond tourism and diversification. We need to be asking ourselves: how can we produce on Zambian soil that which we import today? How can we create local companies that have long term investments in diverse sectors of the economy? It will not be easy but all other successful economies started from scratch.

  9. The Engineer: Such insulting postings are unhelpful. U mean u can’t make your an argument without insulting? I want to believe you’re Zambian. Yes, we have bastards in our society but they’re our bastards. It’s our responsibility to change them but we won’t change with insults.

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  10. These are very good contributions but Zambia Tourist Board is a stone age institution suited for marketing to Fred Flintstone. They can only boast about vic falls but they can’t sell the world s seventh wonder. Like Zesco they will use drought as an excuse

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  11. Maybe you left out a few facts because you never been to Livingston , first 90% of Vic Falls visitors arrive from SA either by plane or overland safari tour through Bots or Nam. Most overseas Tourists come to SA and do a add on to Vic Falls.Most overseas tourists plan and pay for their trip months in advance changing their programme is not a option. also ZTB changed it name 5 yrs ago and mandate but kept it same staff as its now called Zambian Tourism Agency. Airfares are cheaper to Joburg than Lusaka. the people who come to Lusaka are visitors heading for South Luawa. There is already 3 museums in the Livingstone area, one at the falls, 2 in town, the Livingstone Cultural Museum and the Train Museum.
    We have to promote Zambia as Zambia not Zeds govt way of working with Zim . Does Pick…

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