Tourism is an absolute game changer for Africa.
So declared the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Ghana Communication Technology University, Professor Robert Ebo Hinson, in a keynote address – “Bold Moves, Big Impacts: Leveraging Tourism, Investments & Exports to Transform Communities and Industries” at the 26th Annual Zambia Institute of Marketing Conference and Awards Gala Dinner held from 19-22 April 2023 at the Radisson Blu Mosi-Oa-Tunya, Livingstone Resort, Zambia.
In the presence of Zambia’s Minister of Commerce and Trade, Hon. Chipoka Mulenga, Prof Hinson submitted that Tourism Industry Associations should perform periodic marketing audits to ensure Zambian tourism marketing products and services are still fit for purpose, and further to that also perform periodic digitalisation and innovation audits to ensure that Zambian tourism operators are utilising the right digital strategies to promote their services.
On the role of the Zambia Institute of Marketing in growing the GDP of Zambia by improving tourism sector performance, Professor Hinson argued that they should liaise with the Zambia Tourism Authority to conduct a National Tourism Marketing Audit and utilize the inputs from the National Tourism Marketing Audit to develop a new technology-driven Zambian Tourism Marketing Strategy spanning 2024-2027.
Professor Hinson argued again that the Zambia Institute of Marketing should liaise with Progressive Higher Education Institutions to establish a 1-Year Technology Driven Masters Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing.
They should also consider liaising with relevant Industry Associations to develop relevant short courses for boosting the skill content of Zambia’s Tourism Sector with a focus on topics like AI and Digital Management, B2B Marketing, Global Business Management, and Customer Experience Management.
On her part, the Registrar and CEO of the Zambia Institute of Marketing, Mrs. Lute Lungu Mwelo MZIM welcomed the Keynote Speaker to Zambia and urged the Zambian Marketing fraternity to use the conference as a forum to exchange knowledge and information which facilitates the development of tailor-made marketing strategies that respond to consumer’s needs.
The Minister of Commerce, Trade, and Industry, Honourable Chipoka Mulenga in a most riveting speech, challenged the Zambian Marketing fraternity at the conference to reflect on questions such as: “How can we explore export markets to grow our non-traditional exports?” “How can we improve the quality of our products and raise the bar on how Zambian products are perceived?” “How do we increase the number of tourist arrivals and prolong their stay?”
From L-R, Hon. Chipoka Mulenga, Tarisai Moffat, Professor Robert E, Hinson, Mr. Mwewa Besa FZIM
The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry charged the Zambia Institute of Marketing to collaborate and create market synergies, utilise their collective strengths to ensure Zambia becomes self-sufficient and a regional trade and investment hub.
The President of the Zambia Institute of Marketing Mr. Mwewa Besa FZIM, also opined that the Zambian business environment has remained extremely volatile and in the quest for Zambian Marketers to retain their relevance as a ‘’key to prosperity,” they have a duty to devise strategies that will not just make Zambian institutions survive, but rather thrive in the face of economic and business turbulence.
The conference, which closed with an award ceremony was well attended with speakers from within and outside of Zambia and representation from public and private sector entities including Toyota, Prudential Life, the Zambia Revenue Authority, and the Securities and Exchanges Commission.
The World Tourism Trade Council (WTTC) projects that, between 2022 and 2032, tourism’s contribution to the global economy should grow at an average annual rate of 5.8% which is more than double the 2.7% average annual growth rate estimated for the global economy.