#ZAMBIA’S TOURISM AND CONSERVATION FRATERNITY CELEBRATE A GLOBAL FIRST
(Posted 17th November 2017)
Zambia yesterday made headlines when the UNWTO Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai formally launched the world’s first ever ‘International Sustainable Park for Tourism Development‘ in the presence of the Minister for Tourism and Art Hon. Charles Banda, other Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Zambia Wildlife top managers, the Kenyan High Commissioner to Zambia Mrs. Sophy Kombe, other invited guests, the South Luangwa’s key tourism stakeholders who had turned out by the dozens to witness the event as well as a number of locals who had made their way into the park to be part of the celebrations.
South Luangwa National Park provides visitors with a unique wilderness experience and over 27.000 tourists entered the park last year with numbers for 2017 expected to rise further.
Tourism to this part of Zambia, opened up by daily scheduled flights from Proflight Zambia between Lusaka and Mfuwe Airport, is one of the key economic activities and the camps and lodges, both inside and outside the park offer paid employment to predominantly local people. Many of the park’s top guides are in fact from this part of the country.
Best known for having the highest density of leopards in any national park is South Luangwa also home to other predators like lions and hyenas. Plains game galore provides the backdrop for large herds of elephant roaming the wilderness as do buffalo, hippos and nearly 500 species of birds including large populations of the Carmine Bee Eater are found in the park. Rare sightings of the Cookson’s Wildebeest, a separate giraffe species named Thornicroft and add to the thrill for visitors
In his address, link provided here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehvNOY3JKQI&feature=youtu.be&a= did Dr. Rifai express his delight to officiate over this function and see Zambia rise to global fame after being selected to be home to the first such sustainable park.
As part of the programme did Dr .Rifai then also inspect a number of projects which benefit from the income tourism generates such as improved schools, libraries but also boreholes for safe water, health centres but notably also gender support and more, details of which can be found via www.projectluangwa.org.
This project is driven by five key tourism stakeholders, Flatdogs Camp, Shenton Safaris, Kafunta Safaris, Robin Pope Safaris, the Croc Valley Camp and Proflight Zambia.
Going underway today in Lusaka is one of the year’s final key sustainable tourism development conferences, held under the theme ‘A Tool for Inclusive Growth and Community Engagement in Africa‘. 2017 had been declared by the UN General Assembly in late 2015 as the Sustainable Tourism Development Year including the setting of Sustainable Development Goals for the tourism industry.
Expect more updates during the course of the day and tomorrow, when the conference concludes.