Tourism Minister Rodney Sikumba has called for more international investment in the tourism sector and asked the People’s Republic of China to seize the available opportunities to partner with local Zambians in doing so.
Speaking when Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Li Jie paid a courtesy call on him this morning, the Minister said the New Dawn regime is cognizant of the tourism potential and benefits that come with the large outbound tourism provided by the Chinese market and that Zambia wants to benefit whatever marginal figures from the larger share of the nearly 200 million outbound tourists from China.
He said his Ministry will work out modalities to make sure that a good number of the Zambian population including tour operators and Ministry staff are vaccinated against covid 19 and provide proof that they are, so that visiting Chinese tourists and those from other countries can have confidence of their safety as they visit the country.
Hon. Sikumba said the push for domestic tourism and the call on local investments in the sector was due to the fact that the survival of the industry literally depended on the locals to survive during the challenges of the covid 19 pandemic.
And the Chinese envoy called on the minister to see how the new dawn government could facilitate a visa on arrival to lessen travel challenges for Chinese tourists to Zambia.
He said the current situation where Chinese nationals strictly depends on getting visas from the Zambian embassy in Benjin or the consular in Guangzhou discourages some visitors as they have to leave their cities to only these places to facilitate their travels.
Ambassador Jie said the country’s idea to increase the vaccination of the population will build confidence in tourists as can be seen by the case of China where 80 percent of the population vaccinated.
He expressed happiness that the World Health Organization has certified that the Chinese vaccines meet international standards.