THE Government is looking for serious investors to partner with in the establishment of a tourism university in Livingstone, Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has said.
And Permanent Secretary Stephen Mwansa has disclosed that Zambia and Seychelles are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other agreements to enable the two countries collaborate in the area of tourism.
Ms Kapata said the Government, through the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI), was looking for a serious investor to work with in the establishment of a tourism university in Zambia’s tourist capital.
She said land was available in Livingstone to house the university.
Ms Kapata was speaking in Livingstone at Zambia Airforce (ZAF) Mess Banquet Hall on Friday during the gala dinner for delegates attending the second Livingstone International Cultural and Arts Festival (LICAF).
The festival, which ended yesterday, with an arts and cultural exhibition at Livingstone Golf Club, attracted four countries, namely, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Seychelles and Mozambique.
“My Government has earmarked sites in Livingstone, Kafue and South Luangwa National parks for attracting investment in hotel accommodation and other facilities,” Ms Kapata said.
“Furthermore, Government, through HTTI, is seeking a serious investor to partner with in the establishment of a tourism university in Livingstone and a huge peace of land is already available.”
Ms Kapata also said her ministry was working with that of Commerce, Trade and Industry on a proposal to establish the Livingstone Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) aimed at boosting economic activities through the provision of sector incentives that would attract investment in Livingstone.
She said Livingstone had changed for the better after the co-hosting of the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in August 2013.
“Livingstone now has the best international airport in the country and we also have a modern cultural village known as Maramba while we have upgraded roads and a new arts gallery, among others,” Ms Kapata said.
“Furthermore, Livingstone has now become one of the cleanest towns in Zambiaand all these came as legacy projects meant to benefit the people of Livingstone way beyond the hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly.”
Ms Kapata said it was the wish of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government that the tourism industry created many meaningful jobs to contribute to poverty reduction.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwansa said Zambia and Seychelles would soon sign an MoU and other agreements to enable the two countries collaborate in the area of tourism and culture.
He said among the actions to be included in the MoU would be joint operations, training and exchanges in key areas of tourism and culture.
“Seychelles offers world-class facilities, services and standards in the areas of tourism and culture and so Zambia stands to benefit from this MoU,” Mr Mwansa said.
“Students, artists and other tourism officials from Zambia will have an opportunity to visit Seychelles and that country will also do likewise for mutual benefit.”
The third LICAF will take place from March 17, 2016 to March 19, 2016 in Livingstone and so far Zimbabwe, Seychelles and Mozambique have confirmed their participation.
Senior Chief Munokalya Mukuni of Kazungula District in Southern Province,Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) managing director Felix Chaila, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoge Kaseke as well as high-profile officials from Seychelles and Mozambique attended the dinner.
By BRIAN HATYOKA – TIMES