Zambia’s Ministry of Finance has proposed a budget for 2019 that will focus on diversifying tourism offerings and marketing the country as a top destination.
Speaking at a parliamentary briefing in Lusaka on Friday, September 28, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe delivered the country’s 2019 budget. She said the diversification being undertaken by the government was aimed at enhancing the country’s cultural heritage into tourism packages that extended beyond a focus on traditional ceremonies.
According to the Lusaka Times, Mwanakatwe explained that the budget would also help address ways to encourage tourists to stay for at least six days, as opposed to the current average of four.
She said part of the budget had been earmarked to continue restocking national parks with wildlife and noted that this would help increase visitors to areas outside the popular Victoria Falls region and South Luangwa National Park. Additionally, she noted that money had been allocated to the improvement of roads to the tourist areas of South Luangwa, Mosi-oa-tunya and Lower Zambezi National Parks.
Finally, Mwanakatwe noted that conference tourism was a growing sector in the country, and the budget had allocated funds to the upgrade of the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, which is set to host the African Union Heads of State Summit in 2022. – Tourism Update