PROFLIGHT ZAMBIA HELPS GROW DOMESTIC TOURISM – CNN
CNN highlights importance of airline in local tourism
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Leading global news broadcaster CNN has highlighted the role of Proflight in boosting domestic tourism in Zambia.
The network’s flagship Marketplace Africa business programme has focussed on how the airline is helping to target the local market to promote tourism, in conjunction with the Zambian Tourism Board.
Zambia Tourism Board managing director Felix Chaila explained how the domestic industry was growing by 10 percent a year. But as CNN explained, the distances between Zambia’s tourist attractions meant an airline was vital to enable people to travel easily around the country.
Proflight Zambia managing director Tony Irwin said the airline had seen steady growth on all of its tourist routes and echoed Mr Chaila’s view that expansion in local tourism was a good thing for the industry as a whole.
After the 2008 global financial crises, Zambian tourism suffered. The Zambia Tourism Board and the government of Zambia decided to focus on local and regional tourists to compensate for the resulting loss in revenue. Since then Zambia’s tourism sector has grown by at “least 10 percent” every year, said Mr Chaila.
“We must first start at home,” Mr Chaila told CNN. “Traditionally we have all being marketing to long-haul markets: Europe, UK and USA. That has being good but we quickly learned at bad times these are very fragile markets. We are now putting a lot of stress regionally.”
Tourists travel by air to Zambia’s wide ranging tourist destinations is primarily served by Proflight Zambia, Zambia’s only domestic scheduled airline. The airline plays an important role in growing local and regional tourism.
“All of our tourism routes have seen steady growth. Tourism took quite a knock post the financial crises. That was a bit of a blow to Zambian tourism which at that point was extremely foreign tourist driven. We believe that the expansion in local tourism is a good thing for Zambian tourism,” Mr Irwin told CNN Marketplace Africa in an episode that highlighted the role the airline plays in the tourism sector
Proflight Zambia, which was founded in 1991, has grown from having a single five-seater twin-engine aircraft to having a fleet of nine planes including a 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-100. Today the airline flies over 12,000 travellers around the country every month.
Mr Chaila told CNN that tourism had been recognised as one of the areas to contribute significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) of Zambia. And that more needs to be done to reap reward from the sector. At the moment the sector contributes between 3-to-5 percent of the nation’s GDP.
To fly with Proflight, bookings can be made at Proflight sales offices countrywide, through travel agents, at any Shoprite store and online at www.flyzambia.com where payment can be made using any Visa, MasterCard or American Express debit or credit card as well as using Airtel Money or PayPal.
CNN’s report on the airline can be view online at http://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/08/marketplace-africa-zambia-a.cnn