Zamtel, one of Zambia’s three mobile service providers, is investing $4 million in upgrades to Livingstone’s telecommunication network in advance of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, scheduled for Aug. 24-29.
Zambia and Zimbabwe are jointly co-hosting the event, and delegates with tags on them will move freely between the two countries, according to a report in All Africa.
The neighboring countries share a world heritage site, the Victoria Falls. The tourism event will be held in Zambia’s tourism capital, Livingstone, and Zimbabwe’s resort town, Victoria Falls.
Considered the world’s biggest tourism event, up to 4,000 participants from 180 member countries are expected to attend according to All Africa.
Technology will play a huge role in ensuring the conference’s success, said Chisha Malunda, who handles public relations for the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority.
The Zamtel investment means most hotels and lodges will have direct access to the fiber optic network, giving guests high-speed internet access in their hotel rooms, said Zamtel managing director Mupanga Mwanakatwe, according to the report.
“The comprehensive upgrade of the Zamtel mobile network in Livingstone would be increased to 21 cell sites within the tourist capital, meaning that more software would be added,” he said.
The Zambia Tourism Board has bought advertising on CNN and BBC promoting Zambia’s major tourism product, the Victoria Falls, the report says. CNN is viewed in more than 212 countries.
To reach tourism levels of Kenya and South Africa, Zambia will need to invest more in information communication technology, said Chief Mukuni of the Toka-Leya tribes of Kazungula. Mukuni is considered a major player in the Zambian tourism industry, according to the All Africa report.
The chief, who owns Mukuni Big 5, a wildlife resort in Livingstone, has embraced computer technology in all aspect of his venture, the report says.
Hotels, lodges and other hospitality sites in Zambia are being encouraged to set up websites and be creative in marketing their products to the world, according to the All Africa report.