The Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia (HCAZ) has urged the Zambian government to come up with a tourism master plan to help guide the tourism sector’s operations through 2015 and beyond.

HCAZ president Daniel Mweetwa said:

“As a country, we need a master plan on tourism which will encompass all facets of the industry. . . Zambia needs a policy that will help the sector attain the required growth and maintain standards needed in the sector to compete internationally.”

Mr Mweetwa went on to say that the government needs to put more funding into the tourism sector and also make a more concerted effort to draw up incentives to attract foreign ivestors. He added that such incentives could open new areas of Zambia with significant tourism potential.

There is a consensus that particular attention needs to be paid to the country’s infrastructure. “If Government puts the right infrastructure such as roads, airstrips and buildings in places where there tourists’ attractions are, particularly in remote areas, it will attract the private sector to go and invest there,” Mr Mweetwa said.

There is certainly no shortage of tourism potential in Zambia, and moves such as the introduction of the new uni-visa with Zimbabwe late last year and the World Health Organization’s recent classification of Zambia as a yellow fever-free zone bode well for tourism growth in 2015. But the year has just begun and there is so much more to be done. No time to be resting on laurels. Zambia deserves more. Let’s hope the state helps put Zambia on everyone’s list for 2016.