GOVERNMENT plans to relocate the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) and National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) headquarters from Lusaka to Livingstone to enable the two institutions to aggressively market the tourist capital’s potential, Vice-President Inonge Wina has said.
Ms Wina said Government departments dealing with tourism should be stationed in Livingstone so that they can effectively implement measures that will revamp the tourist capital and make it a centre of excellence.
The Vice-President said this on Monday when she called on Chief Mukuni of the Toka-Leya people in Kazungula.
She observed that the shift of the headquarters of the provincial administration from Livingstone to Choma has resulted in economic regression in the tourist capital, a predicament she said needs to be addressed urgently.
“Government is concerned about the status of Livingstone as a tourism capital because we realise that after moving the provincial administration to Choma, there’s been an element of economic depression in Livingstone and this needs to be addressed as quickly as possible with the efforts of the people of Livingstone coupled by Government initiatives.
From our side as Government, we are instructing the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the headquarters of the tourism board moves to Livingstone because this is where action is taking place in the area of tourism. The heritage commission should also be moved to Livingstone and all the other tourism-related institutions so that we can revamp this town and also position it as a centre of tourism in this country,”Ms Wina said.
She was accompanied by Southern Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu and his Lusaka counterpart Obvious Mwaliteta.
She said Government wants Livingstone to be turned into a centre of tourism excellence so that the country can attract and receive more international tourists who will in turn boost the country’s economy through foreign exchange.
Ms Wina appealed to Chief Mukuni, who is also a local and regional tourism investor, to assist Government to revamp and promote cultural tourism, which she said plays a crucial role in improving the lives of people in villages.
And Chief Mukuni said he is readily available to give expert advice to assist Government to revamp the tourism sector.
He, however, lamented that the shift of the provincial administration to Choma has resulted in poor communication between his chiefdom and government departments.