LACK of marketing strategies and seriousness from both Government as well as stakeholders has stagnanted Zambia’s tourism industry,says Mafinga MMD member of parliament Catherine Namugala.
Ms Namugala said Zambia had failed to market its tourism potential making it difficult for the outside to know what Zambia offered in terms of tourism.
Making a contribution towards the Tourism and Hospitality Bill which went into its second reading in Parliament yesterday, Ms Namugala further said that lack of a national airline was disadvantaging Zambia from attractingt a good number of tourists to the country.
She said however that Zambia stood a better chance of boosting her grosss domestic product (GDP) through tourism if the sector was well marketed .
“We have not invested well in marketing our tourism sector because international tourists do not know what we have to offer. As the saying goes if you don’t market you cant sell,”she said.
The former tourism minister told parliament that the US$0.5 billion dollars that the tourism industry was contributing to Zambia’s GDP was far too little compared to what other countries were getting from the same industry in the region.
She advised the ministry of tourism to match diversification from mining to agriculture and tourism with a serious resource allocation.
Ms Namugala said that there should be consideration of putting up infrastructure which was of the same standards as what was being offered by other countries like Kenya and South Africa among others.
She said this could be achieved through training of human resource in the tourism sector.
She said that Zambia was an expensive tourist destinations iand disadvantaged itself because tourists had to come through countries that had the same natural resources.
“Mr Speaker Zambia does not have a national airline and this puts her in a bad position because those tourists coming here have to pass through countries like Kenya and South Africa which also have the same natural resources,” she said.