By NKOLE CHITALA
And the Zambia Tourist Board (ZTB) is likely to launch the new rebranding of Zambia next month at the Durban Indaba in South Africa.
ZTB chairperson Timothy Mushibwe said the board will receive about US$2.5 million (K11.8 billion) in 2011 from Government for the promotion and marketing of Zambia as a tourist destination and is targeting to attract one million tourist arrivals.
“We are hoping to attract one million visitors this year because on average, the arrivals are 825,000 with each tourist spending about US$200 and spending between two to three days. So it is likely that after we carry out all the programme activities, it is estimated that US$300-US$350 million will be earned in the sector and we hope to convince them to stay more that three days.” he said.
Mr Mushibwe said this in an interview in Mfuwe on april 13 after the reopening of Chichele Presidential Lodge.
He said Government has done incredibly well in supporting and funding tourism marketing and this has revived the board’s aggressiveness compared to the past when the money was insufficient.
“For the first time in the history of ZTB, Government has committed close to US$2.5 million from January to December for marketing purposes alone,” he said.
He said Government is committed to supporting and making tourism a vibrant economic sector and this is why it is being pushed to become the second economic sector to help develop the country.
Mr Mushibwe said currently, the board is running a road show in South Africa and Namibia to showcase Zambia’s unique products.
He said the board has also invited the private sector to join it to market their products and services.
Mr Mushibwe said ZTB, until recently, had been lagging behind in terms of marketing effectiveness due to lack of resources.
“We need to reach a position in Zambia that once we promote and market the country, there is a correspondence of quality of services that can complement and support that marketing effort,” he said.
He said ZTB considers SA an important source of tourism, hence the road show happening in SA to attract more tourists.
On rebranding of Zambia, Mr Mushibwe said the board made recommendations on the new brand to Government and is waiting for Government’s response.
“We are hoping that the minister gives us blessings and launch the rebrand at the tourism regional indaba in May while in Zambia it can be done at any of the fairs as soon as possible,” he said.
He said the rebranding process had gone very well with 5,900 entries received from various entities that participated in designing the logo.