Dr Kaunda says unlike mining, the tourism industry impacts directly on poverty reduction in rural communities by providing job opportunities.
The former President said this at the re-opening of the Chichele Presidential lodge in Mfuwe on Wednesday.
He urged government, tourism board and traditional leaders to support sustainable conservation of wildlife by involving local people in tourism activities.
Dr Kaunda said Sanctuary Retreats, the new owner of Chichele have the capacity to promote Zambian tourism through its global tourism network.
And Tourism Deputy Minister Vera Tembo said government is determined to promote Zambia as a major tourist destination.
Meanwhile, Eastern Province Minister, Isaac Banda said government has invested millions of dollars in tourism by constructing roads and airports.
Tourism Board Chairman Timothy Mushibwe challenged the media to help promote Zambia as a tourist destination both locally and abroad.
Sanctuary Retreats managing director Anthony Post said over K2 billion has been invested in rehabilitating Chichele Lodge.
He said the sanctuary will invest more at the lodge and other tourist spots in the country.