Feature: Curio traders in Zambia register some improvements in sales amid COVID-19 pandemic

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LUSAKA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — It is a fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the tourism sectors the world over.

Among those that have been directly affected are businesses such as those dealing in curios.

But things are slowly getting better. With the coming of vaccines and the easing of travel restrictions, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

“The situation is no longer as dire as the case was particularly last year. Today one is able to at least sell something and go home with some money,” explained a curio trader, 43-year-old Esther Kapokola, a resident of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.

Kapokola who trades from Lusaka’s Arcades Pakati Market, a place that is very well known for its range of curios, said most traders in curios are beginning to see some positive changes in terms of sales.

And her colleague Mervis Mulundamina, 32, said the number of international travelers coming to Zambia is slowly improving, something that is helping boost tourism trade.

“We now have some international visitors coming through to buy curios. This is good for us whose livelihoods depend on the sale of curios as the majority of our customers are foreign visitors,” Mulundamina enthused.

And a visit to Kabwata Cultural Village, a historical crafts market and tourism center located in Lusaka revealed that the place is slowly coming back to life after many months of being dormant because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kabwata Cultural Village, which was almost becoming a desolate place due to lack of visitors is now beginning to have some activities.

“Fortunately, we are beginning to see some positive change in that there is a bit more people visiting the place which also translates into some notable increase in trade,” explained Kabwata Cultural Village vice-chairperson Fred Nchobene.

Nchobene remained hopeful that the situation would continue to improve and that traders in curios would one day get back to selling their goods in great amounts as the case was before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are not yet where we used to be in terms of activities and number of visitors but we are hopeful that we will get there someday,” he added. Enditem