The COVID19 pandemic has affected the tourism sector globally and none more so than Livingstone in Zambia, a city primarily built and developed around tourism businesses. This encompasses accommodation, activities, agriculture and food, and many more sectors along the entire tourism value chain. Jobs have gone, incomes have collapsed and many tourism businesses have closed their doors. International travellers have all but ceased travelling given the low level of airline activity, the stringent COVID19 testing requirements or where borders are still closed.
The Zambian government through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts has encouraged Zambian nationals and expatriate workers to travel locally in order to keep the Zambian tourism sector alive. It has spoken time and again about businesses operating in a manner that is no longer dependent on international travellers, but a sector that needs to act to attract domestic tourists. Given this directive, and as a means to encourage extra and new clients to come to Livingstone, the Destination Livingstone organisation believes that a programme of action is required in order to both understand the desires of this domestic market, its size and what activities, events and deals would entice nationals to visit Livingstone.
We are therefore setting out on a path in 2021 that will include the following actions:
- Market research in our key Zambia cites eg Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola our main local markets
- Interviews with stakeholders in the Livingstone tourism sector
- Public meetings in Livingstone to discuss the findings
- The development of an action plan for Livingstone to meet the demands of domestic tourists
- Promotional campaign within Zambia to present the range of activities, accommodation and special packages for domestic tourists
- Monitoring and evaluation of the programme of work in terms of additional tourists into Livingstone.