The Hostels Board Of Zambia has recently opened Livingstone Lodge (pictured above) in the city. The lodge is located on the road to Maramba just past central police, on the site of the former Busiku Guest House. Their room rate is K250,000 per room per night – about US$50 at today’s exchange rate. They might, however, not be able to maintain that rate for long, given the statement from Government below.
“Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti has announced a cut in financial support to all lodges under his ministry because ‘they have the capacity to generate their own income’. “This is the last time that you will be supported by my ministry. I have seen individuals with only one lodge and they are surviving but you have 10 lodges. I warned the Hostels Board the last time we were budgeting that I am cutting their budget because they have the capacity to generate their own income. This is a timely warning that this is the last year,” he said
Mr Mulongoti said the lodges must generate money so that Government receives dividends from them and that these should be declared at the start of the next financial year (2011). Government has spent K2.7 billion in the rehabilitation and construction of facilities at the Livingstone Lodge which comprises a conference room, deluxe executive suite and 11 executive rooms.
The second phase of the project will involve the building of a one storey building that will have 20 rooms. Mr Mulongoti said this yesterday when he commissioned the new Livingstone Lodge. The Minister was accompanied by his deputy Dr Christopher Kalila and permanent secretary Watson Ng’ambi. He said the Hostels Board should no longer depend on government for financial support. He challenged the National Hostels Board to venture into constructing a five-star hotel instead of being comfortable with lodges.
Mr Mulongoti encouraged the Hostels Board to go into partnerships with other investors. He said that since its inception in 1957, the board has had only seven hostels that were left by the colonial government, and three that have been constructed since. “I want one day, either President Rupiah Banda or myself to be able to commission a five-star hotel before we continue quarreling with our competitive sector we are in. You know we have too many vuvuzelas (critics) who are always refusing to acknowledge what we are doing. This is one of the developments,” he said.
He urged the staff and management to work hard in their lodges throughout the country in order to win consumer confidence and attract clients. “We have as a nation not approached tourism with the aggression it deserves. Investing in this sector is not easily accessed especially for Zambians hence the need for a total review of requirements and procedures for one to venture into tourism,” he said.