Zambia, seeking U.S. visitors, reopens office

NEW YORK -- Zambia reopened its tourist office in New York after a five-year hiatus in the U.S.

Patrick Kalifungwa, minister of tourism, said U.S. arrivals to Zambia increased at an average 9% rate in the last three years, reaching 34,681 in 2003, and accounting for 7% of total tourist arrivals.

He said that, with the opening of the tourist office, Zambia aims to double the traffic in a year or "maybe even triple it."

Kalifungwa said the government, after "neglecting tourism in the past," is refocusing on tourism -- and agriculture, too -- as it has seen copper, formerly a top income producer, diminish in value.

How will the government encourage agents and tour operators to sell Zambia?

"A whole lot of educational trips," said Charity Chandra Lumpa, managing director of the Zambia National Tourist Board in Lusaka.

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