Official visit of UNWTO Secretary-General to Zambia

24 Jul 19

UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili was invited by the Government of Zambia for an official visit on July 22-24.

During his official visit to Zambia, UNWTO Secretary-General met with the President H.E Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu to support the government’s policy direction and strategic framework efforts for the promotion and development of its tourism on the global platform with startups initiative, education (training , capacity building), and innovation as the core priory areas. Other discussions were centered on visa facilitation, investment promotion, human and animal conflict which needs to be managed, as well as climate change issues affecting Africa and the planet as a whole. On the occasion, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili presented a plate to H.E Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, honoring the strides that Zambia has made in the tourism sector.

UNWTO Secretary-General also met with the newly appointed Minister of Tourism and Arts, Hon. Mr. Ronald K. Chitotela, and reiterated his commitment to continue building on the relationship that his predecessor had built with the organization. Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili recognized and thanked the work of the former Minister of Tourism and arts of Zambia, Hon. Charles R. Banda who had gracefully welcomed him to Zambia along with the incoming Minister.

The visit was also the opportunity for tour operators to meet with the Secretary General and discuss the challenges and opportunities met by professionals in Zambia. UNWTO Secretary-General 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. The park had officially been coffered with a prestigious status of being the first National Park in the world to be declared an "International Park for Sustainable Tourism Development" in 2017 during the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. On this occasion, he visited 2 schools (Mfuwe Day Secondary School and Uyoba Community School) in the community which is supported by the local tourism operators giving the youth the opportunity to education, potable water and food. The deliberations were further discussed over the lunch in the presence of H.E Chief Kakumbi, of Mfuwe local area. The points emphasized by the Hon. Minister Chitotela were to continue a sense of ownership for the local people to feel part of the sustainable tourism development, and to help support and defend the sector, to which the Secretary-General rebounded on the importance of education, innovation to drive the sector and involve more youth.