By Francis Maingaila
(15-04-18) The ministry of tourism has embarked of an ambitious project of product development in tourism which will not only boast the industry in Zambia but also attract investment.
Tourism minister Charles Banda told journalists at a PF Interactive Forum held Chrisma hotel that the government of Zambia no longer see tourism as a service to the people but also channel of economic development which the country need.
According Banda the government has tasked the the Heritage Commission and Tourism Agents to take inventory of tourist attractions, including cultural activities, game parks sports, health and theatre and have them packaged and have them marketed.
He said the Tourism Agenciesand Heritage Commission will not have the responsibility of Identification of tourism sites and promote product development but will also sell the products to local and foreign beneficiaries.
He explained that already the government is developing sports and conferences infrastructure, including health tourism for the purpose of promoting tourism in Zambia.
For example Banda disclosed, a German investor has volunteered to build a conference facility in Livingstone for the purpose of tourism and that facility will be housing close to 5000 people.
“The more such services are provided in tourists attracting sites, the more activities the area will have to benefit the local people in terms of job creation and infrastructure development.”
He explained that the tourism services are being extended to game parks that stock of all kinds of animals and bird species across the country.
He believes that a well developed tourism industry can help the country rip forex compared to the mining industry.
“The difference that exist between the two is the mining industry is perishable products while tourism is progressive.”
He further denied the cholera outbreak affect the tourism industry in Zambia.
In fact, Banda explained, the measures the government put Zambia on the world market because the measures meant that Zambia attach great priority to health services.
“As a result of the measures that was put in place to control the control the cholera outbreak, the figures of tourist arrivals in Zambia shot up compares to the target of 1.3 million.”
Meanwhile Banda disclosed that his Kapoche constituency has received a fair share of development taking place across the country.
Banda explained that clinics are being built in the area with the purpose of bringing health services, including reducing the distance the people have to walk to access the service.
He also noted that the government is sinking borehole to enable the people access clean water.
“In some place, the people have had problems is accessing clean water before the boreholes were sank. Prior to the sinking of boreholes, the people were getting water from the wells and streams.”
He indicated that the government has not only eracted two communication towers to enable people communicate with their loved ones but has also built bridges with the assistances of the RDA.
“The office of the rea MPs is also supplementing government efforts to complete community projects using the CDF.”
He further disclosed that computers have been donated to selected schools as a way of promoting the ICT in his area.
“The monitoring of these projects is done by his counselors using the motor bikes donated by the party.”