Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has welcomed the construction of the New Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and the upgrading of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport into ultra-modern facilities.
In a statement to ZANIS, PMRC Executive Director Bernadette Zulu says the two airports should be seen as an opportunity to expand the tourism business specifically through meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
She observed that the connectivity provided by air transport is at the heart of tourism development.
Mrs Zulu added that such type of tourism relies significantly on the availability of air travel and can generate a larger economic impact because business travelers traditionally spend more than leisure visitors.
“The two airports are set to play a key role in job creation and driving tourism growth hence achieving some of the aspirations of the Seventh National Development Plan and the Economic Recovery Programme, Zambia has now become a major aviation hub,” Mrs Zulu said.
And Mrs. Zulu said Zambia remains well positioned to be a transportation hub for the region.
She said government has been fully committed to driving the country’s development agenda and harnessing its economic potential.
Mrs. Zulu said this is illustrated by investments that have been made in the transportation sector and the aviation sub-sector.
She added that Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport will be key role in elevating the country’s development agenda to another level.
“This is a key development in the sector as the airport links to Zambia’s mining hub on the Copperbelt and the Northern Tourism Circuit, which is expected to further boost investment in the provinces,” Mrs. Zulu said.
And on the reopening of KKIA, Mrs. Zulu said the event coincides with the expansion of a Qatar Airways route into Zambia which begun on August 6 2021 and is expected to enhance connectivity for passengers as well as meet increasing cargo demands.
President Edgar Lungu on Thursday commissioned the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola pegged at a cost of US$397 million while the newly built US$ 360 million Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) in Lusaka has been opened for international flights.