A gala dinner was held to raise funds for the much anticipated three-day first-ever Zambezi Tourism and Business Expo slated for this week.
The expo, hosted by MovasK Investment with the aim of showcasing the richness of the region, will be held under the theme "Unleashing Tourism Potential in the Zambezi Region" from the 27th to the 29th of this month.
Zambezi governor Alufea Sampofu, who is also the chairperson of the Zambezi Tourism Forum, applauded the private sector efforts to rise and rebuild the region from the brink of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sampofu also stated that while the region has potential for wealth creation, there is a need to emulate neighbouring towns such as Livingstone in Zambia and Chobe National Park in Botswana in order to help develop successful and sustainable tourism and make it a business hub in the region.
"The theme for this Expo is 'Unleashing Tourism Potential in Zambezi Region.' This theme not only exposes us to great potential in this region but also speaks of several other business opportunities for investment, such as transport and logistics, just to mention but a few."
Sylvester Kabajani, project manager of the upcoming expo, reiterated Sampofu's sentiments.
"The Zambezi Region, in as much as it has so many lodges and so much tourism, has actually been a transit point for tourists; they don't stay long in Zambezi, and I'll tell you why; we have not invested in the infrastructure with facilities that will keep them. If you walk around town looking for a coffee shop and you're a coffee lover, you will not find it."
A total of N$45,000 was raised at the gala, which the company director, Maibel Molefe, said would go towards providing a forum for the Zambezi tourism industry to market products and services while also creating demand in the industry.
"We in the Zambezi region also need to create continuous content to attract outsiders to come and invest in our tourism and business communities, so team 4 will be tasked with doing that all year round, and this will show on YouTube on different social media platforms."
Over 5,000 people from local and neighbouring countries are expected to attend the expo, which will take place at the Protea Hotel in Katima Mulilo.