MINISTER of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo calls for more bed space

Elephants on Zambezi
 Storella (left) and Zim Amb.Wharton with Hon Sylvia Masebo, Zambia minister of tourism
Storella (left) and Zim Amb.Wharton with Hon Sylvia Masebo, Zambia minister of tourism

MINISTER of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo has called for more bed space in Livingstone and Kazungula to boost tourism in the country.
Ms Masebo is also concerned that with less than 10 days before Zambia co-hosts the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly with Zimbabwe, demand for accommodation in Livingstone has gone up with all hotels being fully booked.
Ms Masebo was speaking in Kazungula on Tuesday, when she launched Machenje Sport Fishing Lodge, an innovative partnership between the local community and a private sector tourism operator.
She said within the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), Government is determined to accelerate tourism growth to ensure that it benefits local communities.
Ms Masebo said the KAZA landscape, which covers Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Angola, hosts the largest elephant population in Africa.
She said Government is currently reviewing the tourism policy and will continue to create an environment which supports community and private sector investment in tourism development.
Ms Masebo said Government recognises tourism as the driver of economic development and job creation after the mining and agriculture sectors.
“Since the Patriotic Front government took office, over 300,000 jobs have been created and most of them are in the tourism sector. Government has a plan to ensure that tourism drives Zambia’s economy and creates jobs especially in rural areas,” she said.
And Finnish ambassador to Zambia Pertti Anttinen said his country is proud to be a partner in Zambia’s development through projects such as the Machenje Sport Fishing Lodge.
Mr Anttinen said his government’s support to Zambia focuses on agriculture, private sector development and environmental sustainability.
He said without the support of the community, sustainable management of Zambia’s renewable energy and wildlife is impossible.
Earlier, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) chief executive officer Patrick Bergin said as Zambia and Zimbabwe co-host the UNWTO general assembly, Machenje Sport Fishing Lodge will be one of the sites delegates will tour.
“From AWF’s perspective, there is an additional benefit in that the lodge fosters greater community appreciation for conservation. Knowing that the region’s elephant population helps to attract tourism business to the lodge, community members will have greater incentive to protect the elephants,” he sai