FOOTBALL Association of Zambia presidential aspirant Joseph Nkole says Zambians should realise that football can be used as a catalyst for tourism development.
In a statement Nkole said if elected into office, he would work closely with the Ministry of Tourism and provincial administrations to use football to promote tourism across Zambia.
“Can you imagine if we had a facility like the Barcelona Academy in Livingstone? How many clubs would we attract for pre-season whilst using the Victoria Falls as an attraction?” he said. “Or can you imagine if through working with the private sector, we put up training facilities in a place like the Luangwa National Park? How many local and foreign clubs would want to camp there for pre-season whilst sampling our tourism attractions or wild animals?”
Nkole said it is high time Zambia drew lessons from countries like Mauritius and Rwanda that have signed partnerships with European clubs to promote their tourism.
“We want to promote Zambia’s tourism industry; to promote a Visit-Zambia philosophy and give tourism opportunities to deliver its message through a wide range of promotional and marketing opportunities provided by Zambian football,” Nkole said.
He said Zambia already has ready-made tourism ambassadors like Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu and many other Zambian foreign based players adding that even legends of the game like Kalusha Bwalya and many others that have retired can be used.
Nkole said Zambia needs unprecedented positive exposure “that is absolutely invaluable in the wake of the damage wrought by COVID-19.”
He said one way of doing so would be through organising matches around traditional ceremonies as well as provincial expos.
Nkole said his executive will explore having tournaments like the Nc’wala, Kuomboka and Umutomboko Cups.