Continued investment and innovation in the tourism sector are the keys to improving competitiveness and putting Zambia firmly on the tourism destination map, according to Proflight Zambia Company Secretary Chitalu Kabalika.
Speaking on Friday at the fifth Zambian International Investment Forum (ZIIF), which was opened by H.E. the President, Hon. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the aviation industry stalwart outlined how Proflight was investing in the skills and technology to move the sector forward.
“A robust aviation sector is a key component of any country’s tourism sector. At Proflight Zambia was have invested heavily in building the skills of our people, complying with international safety standards and ensuring that our service is efficient and reliable,” said Mr Kabalika. “I urge other companies in the tourism sector to emulate that model so that our nation can offer visits a world-class tourism product that will encourage people to come back time and again.”
He was speaking during the forum, themed Investment for Industrialization, Wealth and Job Creation”, after joining Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Arts Stephen Mwansa and National Arts Council chairperson Mulenga Kapwepwe on a panel to consider “the tourism value-chain: what is the missing link?”.
Delegates heard that tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy. It contributes more than 2 percent of GDP and 10 percent of formal sector employment. The sector comprises hotels, safari lodges, guesthouses, tour operators, and activity and transport providers. The country receives an average of 946,000 tourists a year.
From its base in Lusaka Proflight Zambia flies to seven destinations across Zambia: Livingstone, Mfuwe, Lower Zambezi, Ndola, Solwezi and Mbala being launched next month (May 2016).
Through these destinations Proflight enables tourists reach Victoria Falls in Livingstone in just 1 hour 10 minutes; the world class safari destination of Luangwa National Park via Mfuwe in the same time, and in 35 minutes visitors can be relaxing on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River in the Lower Zambezi.
Regionally Proflight flies from Lusaka to Lilongwe in Malawi and Durban in South Africa, and has a code share agreement with RwandAir from Lusaka to Johannesburg.
The airline has worked hard to provide affordable fares offering children aged two to 17 half price fares on all scheduled routes. It has also launched an Iya Kulubemba special fare from travellers flying from Kasama to Lusaka with a return ticket costing K1,700 excluding airport taxes; and with the Ya Khumawa special travellers can fly from Mfuwe to Lusaka for only K1,700 excluding airport taxes.
Meanwhile, the airline’s Citizen Special enables travellers to fly between Lusaka and Solwezi or Lusaka and Livingstone for only K1,300 return, excluding airport taxes.