Zambia has reported a drop of up to 20 per cent arrivals in its tourist capital of Livingstone following the yellow fever certificate that South Africa imposes on tourists passing through the country to and from Zambia. According to Zambia Tourist Board (ZTB) managing director, Felix Chaila, since the imposition of the yellow fever requirement by South Africa, Zambia has witnessed a drop in a number of tourists travelling to Livingstone, southern Zambia.
“The yellow fever certificate is a major setback because elderly tourists from the developed world are discouraged to take yellow fever jabs due to side effects and these are a big component of the overall figures. Since the imposition of the yellow fever requirement, we have reported a drop of up to 20 per cent in terms of arrivals in Livingstone,” Chaila said on Saturday in a statement issued from London where he is attending the 2012 World Travel Market expo.
He, however, noted that Zambian and South African government ministers have reached advanced stages in negotiating the lifting of the requirement because Zambia is not on the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed countries for yellow fever and therefore there is no justification for the certificate.
Chaila said from tour operators’ sentiment at the exposure in London, ZTB had identified the yellow fever certificate that South Africa had imposed on tourists passing through the country to and from Zambia, delays in immigration formalities regarding the processing of visas for tourists and the ban on Zambian aircraft flying in the European Union skyline as the three most critical hindrances to the successful marketing of Zambian tourism.
“We are happy that the most important sentiment for us is coming from the industry itself. The tour operators are generally happy with the exposure and they are also helping us identify negative sentiments that we need to act upon to improve the sector. They have highlighted some negative sentiments from the market and this is important for our strategy,” Chaila stated.