Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has observed that Livingstone has never been the same since hosting the UNWTO general assembly.
In August 2013, Zambia and neighbouring Zimbabwe co-hosted the 20th United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly which saw thousands of tourists from all around the world visit the two host cities, Livingstone and Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively.
Ms. Kapata said the city of Livingstone has now been transformed into a key tourism destination and one of the cleanest cities in Zambia following the hosting of the UNWTO.
She said Livingstone now has modern infrastructure such as roads adding that the Livingstone International Airport is now the best international airport in the country that meets international standards.
Ms. Kapata also observed that Livingstone now has a modern cultural village at Maramba.
She said Livingstone also has an art gallery and is benefiting from some legacy projects of the UNWTO.
Ms. Kapata assured that the government of President Edgar Lungu will ensure that Livingstone continues to grow as Zambia’s tourism capital.
Ms. Kapata was speaking in Livingstone Friday evening during the Livingstone International Cultural and Arts Festival (LICAF) gala dinner.
And Ms Kapata has revealed that Government is currently reviewing proposals aimed at setting up a Multi Facility Economic Zone in Livingstone aimed at boosting economic activity that will attract investment though the provision of tourism specific investment incentives.
She said Government has earmarked sites in Livingstone, Kafue and South Luangwa national parks for attracting investments in hotel accommodation and other facilities.
Ms. Kapata also revealed that Government is seeking partnerships with investors to set up a tourism university in Livingstone adding that land for the project has since been identified.
At the same event, Zambia Tourism Board Managing Director Felix Chaila expressed happiness that LICAF has recorded tremendous progress since it was started last year.
Mr Chaila assured that next year’s LICAF will be even bigger and better with many countries having already confirmed participation.
The Livingstone International Cultural and Arts Festival close this evening with a pop festival featuring some of Zambia’s best known performers.