A VIBRANT domestic tourism industry can generate more income for the country to boost the economy and ensure that the community benefits from tourism, People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda has advised.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Banda stressed the need to revamp domestic tourism in Zambia so that it could significantly contribute to the country’s economy.
He explained that domestic tourism was a foreign currency earner and constitutes one of the economy’s cornerstones of revenue generation.
Mr Banda, who was a presidential candidate in the just ended elections, said that domestic tourism has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s foremost economic phenomena.
He urged Government to develop and implement domestic tourism strategies that delivered many benefits to the communities. Mr Banda advised that there was need to develop a participative and integrated domestic tourism strategy that would enable the industry to tap this market potential in a sustainable and competitive manner.
“There is need to revamp domestic tourism in Zambia so that it could significantly contribute positively to the country’s economy. Domestic tourism is a foreign currency earner and constitutes one of the economy’s cornerstones of revenue generation.
‘‘It has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s foremost economic phenomena. Government should develop a participative and integrated domestic tourism strategy that would enable the industry to tap this market potential,” he said.
Mr Banda said that there was need to ensure accessible and affordable transport to tourism attractions and routes.
He stressed the importance of ensuring value for money and affordability of the current offerings to current and prospective domestic tourists.
And Mr Banda emphasized that the community should have a certain percentage of ownership of business ventures in the tourism industry.
He said tourism business operators should allocate some shares to the community so that they could benefit from the industry.
Mr Banda said that tourism packages should be made affordable for the locals so that they could enjoy the services.
He explained that local people should be able to also sleep in expensive hotels and participate in tourism ventures which were only viewed to be for foreign tourists.
Meanwhile, Mr Banda disclosed that his party had started recruiting members in preparation for the 2021 general elections.
He said that people were welcome to join the party and even apply to be nominated to contest the next elections.