CONSTRUCTION of a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) legacy project in Livingstone is expected to start next month, Ministry of Tourism and Arts regional tourism development coordinator for South-West region, Harold Mweene, has said.
Following the successful hosting of the 20th session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Livingstone in August 2013, the UNWTO Secretariat has set aside US$ 47,500 to construct a legacy project known as Livingstone Community Sustainable Tourism Resource Centre to honour the local people for their hospitality.
The Government has already already acquired land in Livingstone’s Dambwa North Township to construct the project.
Mr Mweene said in an interview that works to construct the project were expected to start next month once the various technicalities were finalised this month.
“We are waiting for the architectural designs and the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) to be finalised.
“Once the BOQ and architectural designs are done, we will have a tender meeting while construction is expected to start at the start of next month,” Mr Mweene said.
He said the local people in Dambwa North had started clearing the place in readiness for construction works to start.
In May this year, the UNWTO Secretariat gave Zambia US$ 47,500 to construct a legacy project in honor of the people of Livingstone for their hospitality during the 2013 UNWTO General Assembly.
Fund were donated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea through the UNWTO Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) Foundation.
The primary goal of this project is to empower the Livingstone local community with the necessary tourism knowledge and skills that will in turn enable them to generate their income through various training and expertise activities that they will be carried out at the Resource Centre.
Some of the objectives of the Centre are to provide the community with a self-sustaining facility that will contribute to improving the livelihood of the Livingstone local community and to provide skills acquisition and income generation at the Resource Centre and household levels
It will also contribute to tourism product diversification in Livingstone as well as to contribute to the sustainable management of the World Heritage Site (Victoria Falls) and to add on to product and service offering in Livingstone.
The Centre, which is expected to be constructed by December this year, will also build a legacy of Tourism and hospitality in the tourist capital.
In terms of expected impact of the project, the Centre will provide knowledge as well as skills and showcase talent and skills in areas of tour guiding, handcraft making, curios making, traditional Zambian food cooking, art and designs as well as environmental conservation awareness and other skills which are necessary for developing and marketing the tourism industry in Livingstone.
It would also provide training to the youths, men and women in the community especially the vulnerable.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, the idea is to provide skills and showcase the skills and in turn generate income for the community.
The Centre will also provide a chance for both domestic and international tourists to visit and participate.
Other UNWTO ST-EP projects in Zambia are Mwandi Cultural Centre in Western Province and Mafungausi Cultural Village found in Lower Zambia in Cheftainess Chiawa area.