Chief executive officers of leading mining companies on the Copperebelt held a closed-door meeting with Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo and Zambia National Tourist Board (ZTB) managing director Felix Chaila at Moba Hotel in Kitwe at which they were briefed about the potential tourism investment opportunities. China Non Ferrous Metal Company Luanshya Copper Mines (CLM) deputy chief executive officer Robert Kamanga said representatives of the mining companies were excited about the opportunities offered by the tourism sector on the Copperbelt and Livingstone.
Mr Kamanga said in an interview that most mining companies had expressed willingness to consider investing in the tourism sector. They were willing to be part of various initiatives aimed at ensuring that Zambia successfully host the UNWTO conference in Livingstone. “As mining companies we want to take part in the tourism sector development and we are now considering the various investment options which we can undertake. I must state that as mining companies we have to consult with our companies structures before any investment in the tourism sector is finally implemented.”
Mr Chaila said ZTB was excited that the tourism sector was expected to undergo a complete transformation following the willingness by mining firms and other citizens. And Ms Masebo called on Zambians to take advantage of the business opportunities, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives and the various incentives Government was offering to those wishing to invest in the tourism sector.
Ms Masebo said during the Copperbelt Tourism Investment Forum at Moba Hotel that Government was concerned about the low levels of indigenous Zambian investments in the tourism sector. “The tourism sector is open to all Zambians and time has come for our people to take keen interest in the business opportunities being offered and team up with the Government to manage the businesses in the sector under PPP.” She said time has come for the Zambian private sector to be active players before the management of various businesses was completely taken over by foreigners a situation which she said was likely to happen by the end of this decade.
She said if more Zambians owned the investment in the sector most of the monies gained would remain and get reinvested within the country. Ms Masebo called on local authorities to give priority to Zambians when coming up with PPPs in the tourism sector. She directed ZTB to team up with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) to package the tourism business opportunities available on the Coppereblt.”