Speaking when he flagged off the Zambia Tourism Agency organized Touring and Packaging the Northern Tourism Circuit in the Kasanka National Park last night, the PS said the event signifies the beginning of the actualization of the promotion of the much-talked about Northern Circuit Tourism potential.
He said that the annual straw-colored bat migration in Kasanka is already a good annual product with great potential of attracting many tourists but that very few people know about it, especially the locals.
And he urged the 18 tour operators that are on the 14 days tour of the circuit to come up with suggestions on how to effectively package the area.
And Malupenga said the Kasanka bat migration is supposed to be the biggest tourism product in the circuit considering that it is the largest mammal migration in the world.
“Lot of Zambians has not been to Kasanka to witness the seasonal tourism product yet foreign tourists come in and go out quietly,” he said.
He further challenged the Zambia Tourism Agency to market and sell the Kasanka product for more people to know so that they can visit and witness the phenomenon and raise the much-needed incomes from tourism.
Meanwhile, Kasanka Trust general manager Richard Peel said deforestation is is a great threat to the future of the bats in Kasanka.
He said the indiscriminate cutting down of trees for commercial farming destroys the feeding habitat of the bats which depend on the Masuku and water berry fruits in the game management where farming is also taking place.
“there is still a lot of research going on the bats to understand why they come to Kasanka and specifically roost in the one area very year and hence the need to preserve their habitat,” peel said.