Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Dr. Liya Mutale has challenged Zambians to take up the lead and be the first tourists of their own country before foreign tourists.
Dr Mutale says there is need for Zambians to appreciate and visit tourist sites that the country is endowed with saying that is the only way the country’s tourism sites will sale to the outside world.
Speaking to ZANIS in an interview, Dr Mutale reviewed that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts priority target in the tourism sector are domestic tourists who she said if they visit their own tourism sites it would be easy for Zambia to attract international tourists.
She said the Ministry of Tourism and Arts is part of Governments decentralization process and to ensure that the tourism sector is prioritized, the Ministry will set up offices in districts to be responsible for tourism issues.
Dr. Mutale pointed out that Luapula Province has the potential for tourism especially that the province has good political will which she said can be used to drive the province’s tourism agenda and move development in the province.
And Group European Development Africa (GED) Zambia Country Manager Marcus Ascott, reviewed that GED Africa has taken up a Private Public Partnership project in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to construct a 200 Kilometres Road which will link Katanga Province and Luapula Province.
He said the company will also construct a 350 metres bridge across the Luapula River from Mwense District to the DRC and two modern one stop border posts at a cost of US$475 million dollars.
Mr Ascott noted that the project is vital for trade between the two boarder countries and that it will reduce transport costs for copper exports out of Katanga by 30 Kilometres and will also reduce congestion on other borders that Zambia shares with Dr Congo.
He added that once constructed, the bridge will increase the number of international tourists from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zambia to visit the many tourist sites in Zambia.