ZAMBIA Tourism Agency (ZTA) Communication and Corporate Affairs Manager Betty Mumba has advised those who are not vaccinated and plan on attending this year’s Kumboka ceremony to get vaccinated.

And Mumba expressed happiness that the tourism sector has slowly begun “returning to life”.

In an interview, Mumba said vaccinations prevented severe Covid-19 illness.

“We have seen that we have not had a number of international tourists, obviously for obvious reasons because of Covid. But we saw an increased number of local interests going to see traditional ceremonies. We are very happy because that means that Zambians have now started appreciating traditional cultures as part of tourism to go there and see how people from the east live. We have not had the ceremonies for almost three years. So there is that hunger or that desire to go out there and have fun but we are not saying we have relaxed on Covid-19,” Mumba said.

“We are saying we are going to have these tourism events while observing what the Ministry of Health has constantly been telling us, to mask up, to observe guidelines. I know it’s difficult to observe social distancing at a ceremony but the most important key here is get yourself vaccinated because imagine in a crowd of 100 and 90 percent are vaccinated meaning you limit the amount of transmission. So the most important message now. We should drive, as we celebrate these events, vaccination. They are free and they are still going on and now we even have boosters especially for people that are in high risk sectors. So we are happy that ceremonies are back, we are happy that Zambians are now going to be part of the ceremonies but at the same time our message is get yourself vaccinated so that at least you reduce the severity of Covid-19.”

And Mumba expressed happiness that the tourism sector had slowly begun to return to life.

“We can see that despite the Covid-19 the tourism sector has started opening up probably not so much to the international market because obviously there are still these fears and the trauma. On Saturday we are having Kuomboka ceremony. I think cultural tourism is going to be with us for so many years to come and culture is something that we all want to embrace. Both for the domestic tourists and for the international tourists and we are so glad that they are back because there was a serious vacuum and in honesty people want to go out now and just see these things and just enjoy tourism,” said Mumba.