CREATING tourism attaches in foreign missions that will gobble a lot of money is not a priority for now because Government is trying to avoid a budget overrun in 2016, says Minister of Tourism Jean Kapata.
Ms Kapata said in an interview that the appointment of tourism attaches abroad was at the moment not a priority because Zambia already had people who could promote her tourism in embassies.
“For us in the ministry, it is not a priority and if the Government has decided to go that way we will wait, we are ready to do it.
“It is not a priority because we already have people who can sell Zambia in our embassies and High Commssions,” she said.
She said the ministry could not begin the process of employing tourism attachés because it did not have treasury authority.
“We have not done anything at the moment, we have identified people who are supposed to go in missions abroad but there have been no Treasury authority; so not until there is such authority we will just have to wait,” she said.
Ms Kapata said tourism would continue to contribute to the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.
She said marketing Zambia abroad would boost economic growth and promote strong international relations.
“There’s great potential in the tourism industry to boost the Zambian economy more than in other sectors because the hospitality of the nation draws tourists to the country.
“Our aim is not only to focus on foreigners but also how well we can market Zambia; but we are also taking into consideration the local people’s interests and that’s why the Zambia Tourism Board targets the employment of 300,000 locals in the tourism industry only,” she said.