The Tourism economy has been severely hit by the corona virus (COVID 19) pandemic and measures have been introduced to contain its spread. Globally, nations experienced low economic activities resulting in reduced revenue. Zambia’s tourism sector confronted challenges due to the pandemic, putting thousands of businesses and jobs at risk.
As tourism begun to open slowly, the sector developed protocols on health and safety to mitigate the effects of the turbulences caused by COVID 19 in businesses and people’s incomes.
The developed protocols on health and safety were a call to action to mitigate the effects caused by COVID 19 in the tourism sector.
Stakeholders adopted these protocols and took responsibility of ensuring that destination Zambia was safe for tourism business.
The objectives of these safety protocols included;
- Limit and minimize the spread of COVID 19;
- Serve as safety guidelines for tourism businesses to protect both the staff and clients;
- Harmonize the COVID19 response measures for the tourism sector in Zambia;
- Instil confidence among potential clients that tourism is safe and they can resume activities in Zambia; and
- Audit and establish Zambia ‘s new carrying capacity in the provision of various tourism services.
The safety protocols included all major categories in the tourism sector. The development of these guidelines was informed by what regional partners were doing; and the sector-specific guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) was quick to acknowledge Zambia’s efforts in this respect and in a “tweet “highlighted Zambia as one of the global destinations committed to restarting tourism safely.
World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) SAFE TRAVELS STAMP
To give further validation for the protocols, the Zambia Tourism Agency applied to the WTTC for the “Safe Travels Stamp” and was granted approval in October 2020. Zambia was the fifth country in Africa to obtain the safe travels stamp from the WTTC.
The WTTC branded stamp will allow travellers to recognize governments and organisations around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standard protocols, to enhance their visitor experience through safety.
Betty Mumba Chabala (Mrs.) is a Corporate Affairs Manager with Zambia Tourism Agency. She writes in her own capacity.