Minister of Tourism and Arts, Charles Banda says the new Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 14 of 2018 on Accommodation Standards is a major milestone in accommodation grading in Zambia.
Speaking during the launch of the SI, Mr Banda said the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA) in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2011 started working on a project to harmonize tourism accommodation facilitation and grading systems in Southern Africa.
He says this was in recognition that the difference countries in the region were at different levels in terms of economic development offering a similar product, but with only a few member states offering globally competitive tourism products leading to the perception that the region was a poor quality destination.
Mr. Banda says the various ministers of tourism therefore adopted a framework and hence the need for the launch of the new SI adopted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
And the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Howard Sikwela says time has come to make sure that whatever the tourism industry does is graded.
Meanwhile Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) Chief Executive Officer, Felix Chaila says the focus of the SI is on quality assurance.
Mr Chaila says the agency will recruit 21 assessors who will be complemented by assessors from the hotel industry.