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Monday, 5 January 2009

How has the global slowdown affected Zambian tourism?

Bad. According to the Livingstone Tourism Association :

LTA Secretary Frederick Mwendapole said the past six months had seen a low turn out in the tourism industry with some of the lodges and guest houses in Livingstone laying off staff. He added that most hotels and lodges were operating at 40 percent as a result of the global recession and other factors that affected the country last year.

Mr Mwendapole was speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Livingstone today. He described 2008 as the most trying year ever faced in the tourism sector adding that the death of former President Levy Mwanawasa was one of the greatest blow to the tourism industry as it caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the economy of the country.

No surprise that the continous depreciation in the Kwacha has not been enough to counteract the effect. From the flight to your favorite lodge the costs seem pegged in British Sterling / US dollars - a sort of quasi menu cost restraint. Our tourism industry seems immune to the positive benefits of depreciation (and negative effects of appreciation). Food for thought.

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