Official visit of UNWTO Secretary-General to Zambia
PR No.: PR 19048
Madrid, Spain, 31 July 2019 - The UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili undertook an official visit to Zambia as a guest of the Government, July 22-24.
During the official visit, Mr. Pololikashvili met with President H.E Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu to express UNWTO’s support for the Zambian government’s policy direction. In particular, he welcomed the strategic framework for the promotion and development of Zambian tourism on the global stage, with education (training , capacity building), and innovation as the core priority areas.
The discussions also focused on the issues of visa facilitation, the promotion of investment, managing human-animal conflicts and on issues relating to climate change as they affect Africa and the wider world.
On the occasion of the official visit, Mr.Pololikashvili presented President Chagwa Lungu with a silver plate, honoring the strides that Zambia has made in the tourism sector.
The UNWTO Secretary-General also met with the newly appointed Minister of Tourism and Arts, the Hon. Mr. Ronald K. Chitotela, and reiterated his commitment to continue building on the relationship that his predecessor had established with the organization. Mr. Pololikashvili recognized the work of the former Minister of Tourism and Arts, Hon. Charles R. Banda, who also welcomed him to Zambia along with the incoming Minister.
The visit was also an opportunity for tour operators to meet with the Secretary General and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing tourism professionals in Zambia. The UNWTO delegation had the opportunity to experience a safari at the South Luangwa National Park which is considered one of Africa’s remaining ecologically un-spoilt wilderness areas.
In 2017, to mark the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development South Luangwa became the first National Park in the world to be declared an "International Park for Sustainable Tourism Development". On this occasion, Mr.Pololikashvili visited two community schools (Mfuwe Day Secondary School and Uyoba Community School). Both of these schools are supported by local tourism operators, giving the local youth access to education, clean water and food.
Finally, over lunch with H.E Chief Kakumbi of the Mfuwe district, the key points emphasized by the Hon. Minister Chitotela were discussed further. These discussions largely focused on working with UNWTO to give a greater sense of ownership to the local people so that they can feel part of the sustainable tourism development, and to help support and defend the sector.
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