The policy shift will see Zambia package and develop other forms of tourism such as health, academic and sports tourism.
Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Steven Mwansa said it was unfortunate that Zambia’s tourism has been hinged on nature and a few annual traditional ceremonies for a long time now.
Mr. Mwansa disclosed that President Edgar Lungu has given a directive for the National Heritage Commission and other relevant institutions to be realigned to the Ministry of Tourism.
This is according to a press statement issued to ZANIS by Press Secretary at the High Commission of Zambia in South Africa Nicky Shabolyo.
Mr. Mwansa said the move was very progressive as it will enable Zambia market tourism as a total package.
He said the ministry was just waiting for a gazette notice on bringing the National Heritage Commission under tourism to be issued.
Mr. Mwansa was speaking when he addressed diplomatic staff at the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria this afternoon.
He said the Ministry of Tourism has since engaged National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA), National Housing Authority (NHA) and Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST) to agree on converting some of their buildings into hotels to curb the hotel bed space deficit across the country.
“We have lost out on hosting a number of big international events while we have shared some with other countries because the country does not have enough accommodation,” he said.
He pointed out that the approach was workable because it was easier to convert than to build hotels from scratch.
The Permanent Secretary has also backed calls for the re-introduction of a national airline pointing out that the nation should not limit its assessment to the profitability of such a venture.
Mr. Mwansa said Zambia should consider other sectors and activities that would benefit if an airline was to be re-established.
“We should stop looking at the profitability of a national airline in Zambia because even if this was not to happen, profit would be made in other areas. Just think of some big economies around the world which have maintained airlines that have not made profits in the last several years,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwansa stated that his Ministry was now working to partner with private organisations within and outside Zambia in order to fill-up the gap on inadequate funding for tourism marketing activities.
He said tourism has over the last few years increased its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.1 to 3.5 per cent and that the target will grow to 10 per cent by 2030.
Tourism is one of the major sectors on which government is focusing to help make Zambia a more diversified economy.