(eTN) – The Tourism Board of Zambia has projected that it will launch a new brand of the country’s tourism sector before the end of the second quarter of 2011. Tourism Board of Zambia Chairman Mr. Timothy Mushimbwe has told Radio Phoenix in Lusaka that the rebranding project, which is ongoing, is a mammoth task and requires time and appropriate resources if an excellent and ultimate goal is to be attained.
Mr. Mushimbwe said the board is targeting to achieve a goal of 3 million arrivals by the end of 2017 and subsequently increase to over US$1.5 billion of new investment in hotels, lodges, transport, food supplies, and ancillary services.
He explained that the broad plans included increasing both tourist arrivals and visitor value by increasing the length of overnight stays, extending the tourist season, and targeting high-yield markets.
Speaking at the official launch of the Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management in Lusaka, Mr. Mushimbwe said that currently the tourism industry contributes about 2.8% of the GDP and there are plans to raise that to 5.4% by 2012.
Tourism Council of Zambia Chairman Mark O’Donnell pointed out that the council will continue to lobby government and advocate for favorable policy change and a conducive business environment to realize the competitiveness of the tourism sector both at the regional level and in the global market.
Mr. O’Donnell said the tourism sector at the moment is facing a number of challenges, such as lack of access to affordable credit, which will have to be addressed if local tourism is to thrive in the future. He commended the Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management for its initiative and said this will help in addressing the human development constraints that the tourism industry faces.
Speaking at the same function, Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management Vice Chancellor Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa said the primary goal of the university is to make sure that the graduates being churned out of it acquire the necessary confidence, knowledge, skills, and professional acumen befitting the market demand. University board member Charity Lumpa said the launch of the university will help to empower tourism industry personnel with all types of managerial skills, which have been lacking.