licafNigeria, Seychelles, Botswana and Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation at this year’s Livingstone Cultural Arts Festival, according to the Zambia Tourism Board. And ZTB managing director, Felix Chaila, says the local tourism concept launched in 2013 has had good response, with South Luangwa recording high numbers of local tourists last year.

Meanwhile, Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA) marketing and communications director, Kwakye Donkor, has appealed to the media to help boost tourism in the region. Speaking during a press briefing, Chaila said ZTB had adopted the Livingstone Cultural Arts Festival (LiCAF) as an annual event to foster tourism arrivals during the low-peak season in the sector.

“We want to grow the festival to be an event for the southern African sub-region and to give a reason for people to come to Livingstone. This will promote tourist arrivals during the low season. The dates have been set and out of the intended 10 countries, four have confirmed their participation. These are Nigeria, Seychelles, Botswana and Zimbabwe,” Chaila said.

He said the festival had been set for March 26-28.

Chaila said LiCAF, which would include a pop festival to be held at the golf club, would cost over K1 million. Other activities lined up for the festival include Zambian food display to be held in the evenings at Mukuni Park, spiced withtraditional folk music, visual arts exhibitions, a fashion show, African dance lessons, food bazaar, a chief executive officers’ forum, gala dinner and boat cruises.

Chaila appealed to the corporate world, private and government institutions and defence forces to also consider taking part in the festival, which would kick off with a five-kilometre carnival parade. Chaila appealed to Zambians to consider taking holidays locally instead of travelling to South Africa.

And Bank of Zambia (BoZ) board secretary, Penelope Mwenya-Mapoma, said tourism opportunities were immense and that the bank would assist through organising business conferences.

Donkor said the southern African region had an opportunity to enhance tourism by complimenting each other.

Karel Ooms called for the establishment of a convention bureau if the concept of MICE was to be  a success for the Zambian economy.

From : Post zambia

24 February 2015