Tour operators to attend Indaba in Zimbabwe


THE Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia (HCAZ) and the Siavonga Business and Tourism Association (SBTA) have been invited to a one-day tourism Indaba in Zimbabwe’s resort town of Kariba. Both HCAZ chairperson for Siavonga Chapter, Beauty Musonda, and SBTA chairman Steve Thompson confirmed the invitations to the meeting which has drawn interest from tour operators on Lake Kariba in both Zimbabwe and Zambia. And Kariba Publicity Association (KPA) board member, Laiton Mkandawire, said the meeting had been slated for October 22 and would draw delegates from hotel, lodges, tour operators and other stakeholders based around Lake Kariba including those in Siavonga district in Zambia. He said Zimbabwean Tourism minister, Walter Mzembi, and his technocrats would address the high-level meeting which had been called to find ways of increasing the number of tourists to Lake Kariba. Mr Mkandawire disclosed that delegates will also discuss the possibility of twinning Siavonga and Kariba towns as one tourist destination. He said the meeting would also seek to kn0w why Siavonga and Kariba Town had continued to receive minimal number of tourists despite being home to one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, the Kariba Dam. He said of late the number of visitors to Lake Kariba had continued to dwindle, forcing some hotels to close, rendering many young people jobless. Mr Mkandawire said tour operators in Kariba and Siavonga towns were hopeful that the discussions would answer some of the many challenges the sector had been facing.  Meanwhile, Mr Thompson said his association was glad that it had been invited to the talks. He said SBTA was looking forward to more cooperation between its members and tour operators in Zimbabwe and was hopeful that the meeting would not just be an academic exercise but come up with lasting solutions to benefit the tourism industry in the two neighbouring countries.