By BRIAN HATYOKA –
THE Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA), has been granted additional functions of licensing tour operators and maintaining standards in the tourism industry besides marketing the sector, managing director Felix Chaila has said.
Mr Chaila said the change of name from the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) to ZTA and subsequent granting of additional functions were necessitated by the new Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2015, which came into effect in November last year.
He was speaking in Livingstone during a ZTA and Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) stakeholders meeting for operators.
Mr Chaila assured tourism operators that the ZTA would implement additional functions from an angle of maintaining standards and improving Zambia as a preferred tourism destination.
“As for me, I see licencing and maintaining standards in the tourism industry as a tool to ensure quality assurance.
“When we did licensing under then Zambia National Tourism Board, we did it more effectively and records are there. If you are marketing, there is no way you are not going to pay attention to more important issues of licensing and you don’t want the quacks to be messing up the industry,” Mr Chaila said.
He said more countries had already signed up for this year’s third Livingstone International Cultural and Artst Festival (LICAF) to be held this month end.
Among the countries expected to attend were, Turkey, Egypt, China, Seychelles, India, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda and South Africa.
He said the event was meant to promote increased arrivals of both local and international tourists.
Mr Chaila also said the launch of the electronic visa by the Zambian Immigration Department would attract more tourists to the country.