By XAVIER MANCHISHI –
ZAMBIA has started an extensive tourism marketing programme in Turkey to sell the country as a destination of choice.
Zambia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Miriam Mulenga, kicked off the programme, which is aimed at wooing Turkish investors.
As a result, a Turkish tour operator has assured that a team of tour operators and other experts would be dispatched to Zambia to assess investment opportunities in the tourism industry.
Ms Mulenga said the Mission wanted to woo investors to venture into construction of hotels and other hospitality amenities that are key to enhanced growth of the tourism sector in Zambia.
The initiative will also be extended to three countries of extra accreditation covered by the Zambian Mission in Turkey, namely Greece, Georgia, and Jordan.
Ms Mulenga on Saturday engaged one of the world’s top-rated resort estates-The World of Wonders Resort Hotels in Antalya, South of the Turkish capital Ankara, to explain investment opportunities that Zambia had in the tourism industry.
A video depicting Zambia’s tourism attractions was also shown as part of the Mission’s tourism marketing strategy.
Ms Mulenga, who was taken on a conducted tour of the multi-facility pleasure resort that attracts an average of 11 million tourists from all over the world every year, said that it was also the Mission’s desire to identify and work with Turkish tour operators to help raise Zambia’s tourism profile.
The pleasure resort, which is surrounded by beaches and endowed with an aqua-park, spar, gardens, theatre, conference halls and sports facilities among others, has a bed capacity of 50,000.
Ms Mulenga observed that Zambia’s lakes especially in Luapula province had the potential to make ideal pleasure resorts if only infrastructure was put in place around them.
She invited The World of Wonders Resort Hotels to invest in Zambia with an assurance that the decision would not be regretted, given the attractive incentives coupled with political stability.
The World of Wonders Resort Hotels vice-president Tayfun Turanlioglu assured Ms Mulenga that a delegation would travel to Zambia to assess the industry.
Mr Turanlioglu also pledged to assist in marketing Zambia as a tourism destination to Turkish and other nationals.