May 30, 2011

Tourism to mint $412 million

According to president Banda, the direct contribution of tourism to Zambia’s gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to reach US$412 million in 2011. This is about 2.3 percent of the country’s total GDP. He added that tourism was expected to directly support 22.000 jobs. He added that he was confident that by 2015, the country would meet the target of attracting four million international tourists yearly, by which year tourism is expected to contribute about eight percent of Zambia’s GDP. “This country has a massive outlay of natural wonders to offer the world, and there are armies of tourists visiting and trying to visit Zambia, which means business opportunities are already guaranteed. My government has taken a number of steps to make citizens’ empowerment a reality, and we also have promoted the concept of public partnership ventures,” he said.
The President said the 2011 national budget had allocated K76 billion to various empowerment programmes. According to him, the resources were moreover targeted at sections of society that were usually unable to access funds through financial institutions. Accordingly, the targeted groups were the youth, the women and persons with disabilities. “My government has gone as far as providing very clear guidelines to all the fund managers on how the funds should be managed to make sure the resources go to the intended beneficiaries,” he said.

The president added that in Zambia, micro, small and medium-scale enterprises dominated sectors such as agriculture, trade, textiles, construction, manufacturing, transport, information and communication technologies and hospitality. He said these provided the largest share of employment opportunities to the people, especially in the rural and peri-urban areas. “I therefore want to encourage the honourable Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources and her colleagues to work extra hard to promote tourism and hospitality sectors as viable investment arenas which can generate profits and create jobs. Domestic tourism also does need vigorous promotion.” (Luska Times)

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