By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
ZAMBIA will bid for the hosting of the 2015 edition of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has said.
AHIF is Africa’s leading event for hotel and tourism investment and this year’s forum has brought together more than 450 delegates and 80 industry leaders who are sharing their knowledge and insights on how
to capitalise on Africa’s expanding markets and growth potential.
Ms Kapata said Zambia would lobby to host the 2015 edition of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.
“Her delegation would work hard to convince the selecting panel to bring the high profile annual event to Zambia as it would give potential investors a chance to get first hand appreciation of the tourism endowment and investment potential of the country,” Ms Kapata said.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) public relations and media manager Caristo Chitamfya, the minister was speaking at this year’s AHIF at Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia.
Ms Kapata said Zambia was ready for investment in the hotel industry.
She said the Zambian Government had created various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as well as exemptions and concessions for investors in the tourism industry which included zero per cent tax on dividends, profits, and import duty for the first five years.
It has differed VAT on machinery and equipment, zero rate of VAT on tour packages throughout Zambia, among others.
The minister also told the forum that the Government had embarked on a massive road rehabilitation program that would facilitate easy access to remote tourism sites spread across the country.
The 2014 AHIF was officially opened yesterday by Ethiopia Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalagen.
Zambia’s Tourism minister and her counterpart Ethiopia’s Tourism Minister Amin Abdul Kadir shared a platform to discuss the two countrie’s long term plans and regional tourism strategies.
The key investment opportunities that Zambia is promoting at the forum include hospitality, eco-tourism, adventure activities, community-based tourism, theme parks and shopping malls, conference and events.
Others include movie tourism and cultural centres with the priority sites being Greater Livingstone, Kafue National Park, South Luangwa National Park, Northern Circuit, Lower Zambezi National Park and Lusaka.