Government acknowledges importance of tourism
Livingstone, July 19, ZANIS————Tourism and Arts Minister Silvia says the Patriotic Front government is alive to the fact that tourism has great potential to contribute to the national economy.
Ms Masebo said it is evident in the government’s willingness to provide quality education for people in the hospitality industry and create a favourable environment for visitors through provision of good service delivery.
She described tourism as one of the key pillars of Zambia’s economy as it has contributed three percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The importance of the tourism industry underscores the need to maintain and build on our competitive edge in providing world class hospitality services,” she said.
Ms Masebo said this on Thursday during the graduation of 250 Community members, Front Office and Food and Beverage personnel in hospitality training from various hotels and lodges at New Fairmount hotel in Livingstone.
The graduation ceremony was held under the theme: “Enhancing tourism development through skills training”.
Ms Masebo said the training was held ahead of the co-hosting of the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Livingstone and Victoria Falls towns to prepare people in the hospitality industry to provide world class hospitality services to delegates from all over the world.
“This graduation marks an important milestone in developing our hospitality industry as we strive to become a tourist destination of choice,” she said.
The tourism minister reiterated that tourism was better than mining as it was sustainable while mining focused on wasting assets.
Meanwhile, Ms Masebo challenged the graduates not to focus on just being employees but to use their newly acquired skills to be employers.
Ms Masebo also urged the graduates to utilize the acquired skills to improve the hospitality standards in Zambia.
And speaking earlier, Hotel and Tourism Training Institute Trust (HTTIT) Executive Director Wilson Silungwe called on people in the hospitality industry to embrace entrepreneurship as doing so would create more jobs in the sector.
Dr Silungwe said it was only through hard work that Zambia’s status as a preferred tourism destination could be enhanced in the region.