The Ministry of Tourism and Arts says Zambia has witnessed positive growth in the tourism sector with the coming of international hotel brands on the scene.
Speaking during the Star awarding ceremony held at Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere hotel today, Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said the event is a culmination of Government’s efforts to bring quality to tourism enterprises.
Malupenga said the country offers an amazing, diverse and thrilling tourism experience which has been made possible by hoteliers who are the gatekeepers for outbound tourists.
‘’You [hoteliers] play an important role to ensure that information about Zambia depicts a positive image. Zambia is ranked among the fifth most peaceful countries in the world; such information should be shared by you to the tourists that stay in your facilities,’’ he said.
He added that the surge of business tourism should go hand-in-hand with the quality of available accommodation and conference facilities.
He said Lusaka being the Capital City of Zambia should take the lead in ensuring that almost all accommodation establishments are licensed and graded.
Malupenga explained that it is now illegal for accommodation establishments to award themselves with stars for purposes of brand positioning on the market.He urged the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) to ensure that all tourism establishments in the country are graded and compliant to the set standards.
In July last year, Statutory Instrument No. 14 of 2018 on accommodation and standards was launched which empowered ZTA to commence the grading of all accommodation establishments and the enforcement of minimum standards for all tourism enterprises in the country.
Eight hotels and lodges have since been awarded and these include Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere Hotel; Stay Easy Hotel; Protea Hotel by Marriot in Lusaka; Protea Hotel by Marriot Cairo Road; Protea Hotel by Marriot Lusaka Safari Lodge; Chisamba Eureka Camping site; Kiambi Safari Lodge and Gwabi River Lodge adding to the 27 that were graded by Zambia Tourism Agency.
In Zambia, tourism has been a vehicle for job creation and wealth distribution, outpacing other sectors with about 4 percent total contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP ).