The Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) has launched an online platform to license and grade businesses in the tourism sector.
Speaking during the platform’s official launch, ZTA Board Chairperson Tecla Ngwenya said that it is aimed at enhancing the cost and efficiency of doing business in the sector.
Dr. Ngwenya said the launch is a milestone for the sector, adding that it is timely as the world is looking for innovative solutions such as virtual service delivery platforms for business sustainability.
The world is currently experiencing a crucial time caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and as such, we need to embrace innovations that will further caution the tourism sector from total collapse. Tourism has been one of the fastest growing world economies with over 1.5 billion before the onset of the pandemic,Dr. Ngwenya.
The ZTA Board Chairperson has since urged tourism enterprises to become more innovative and digitally savvy to be able to compete for their fair share of businesses.
Dr. Ngwenya further called on the private sector and all other interested parties to partner with government in growing the tourism sector.
I know that a lot of us in the private sector are fond of not working together. My appeal is that we come together as one and exchange our ideas so that we can see the future of our country in the tourism sector,Dr. Ngwenya.
The ZTA Board Chairperson thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Arts for the policy direction into the development process of the online platform and Smart Zambia Institute for overseeing its development.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela said he is happy to see ZTA embrace the benefits that accrue from conducting business using the digital space.
Mr. Chitotela said the platform will reduce the costs associated with obtaining licenses and the subjectivity in the grading of accommodation establishment, as well as bring efficiency in licensing of tourism enterprises.
He further implored Smart Zambia Institute to continue ensuring that the system is in line with international standards of e-commerce.
The development of the e-licensing and grading platform is a great milestone for the Ministry as we work towards accelerating the e-government transformation for Zambia and the tourism sector in particular. The Zambia Tourism Agency will continue to receive tourists, both local and international, to ensure that e-platform licensing and standards result into improved service delivery,Mr. Chitotela.
And Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Martin Mtonga has pledged government’s electronic wing’s commitment to the continued provision of Information and Technology (IT) services and infrastructure to ensure that the cost associated with using paper is eliminated.
Dr. Mtonga also assured that the online platform has been fully tested and has quality assurance, adding that data that will be captured by the platform will be secure.
He further said that the platform will, among other things, reduce the cost of issuing licenses as this will be done online.
We want to assure you that we have put in a lot of effort to ensure that the online platform is safe and secure for use,Dr. Mtonga.
The Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet added that Zambia will not be left behind in implementing digital ways of handling certain issues of interest.