GOVERNMENT will create more than 300,000 jobs in the tourism sector for the youth in the next five years, Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary George Zulu has said.
Mr Zulu said the creation of more than 300,000 jobs would translate in an increase in tourism growth and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
He said the ministry supported initiatives by youths and that such programmes would be integrated into Government programmes to create the much needed jobs for youths in the ministry in the next five years.
Mr Zulu was speaking in Livingstone yesterday when he officiated at a youth conference at Chrismar Hotel on tourism, poverty eradication and building resilience to climate change organised by the Green Enviro-wacth, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from Lusaka.
He said the Ministry of Tourism and Arts had mainstreamed issues of climate change in its national programmes due to the sensitivity of the sector.
“Furthermore, my ministry has mainstreamed issues of climate change in its national programmes due to the sensitivity of the tourism sector when hit with effects of climate change,” Mr Zulu said.
Mr Zulu said most of the tourism activities in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region highly depended on natural resources and wildlife, which were both climate sensitive sectors.
He said the conference came at the right time in Livingstone as the city was preparing to host the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in a few days to come.
Mr Zulu also said that the tourism industry in the SADC region had grown rapidly in recent years contributing about US$940 billion to the world economy in 2010.