In line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), the Tourism sector is one of the drivers intended to create a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and socio-economic transformation. Therefore, the Zambia Tourism Master Plan (ZTMP) is meant to position the sector to contribute to the country’s long term objectives as outlined in the Vision 2030 of becoming a “Prosperous Middle-Income Country by 2030.”
Zambia lacked a comprehensive strategic framework to facilitate systematic exploitation of the country’s vast tourism assets since 1978 when the last Tourism Master Plan was developed. The sector was characterised by ad-hoc plans resulting in lack of focus.
The Zambia Tourism Master Plan, should thus, be considered as a document that is meant to strengthen the systematic development of the country’s vast tourism resources and should be viewed as a “Master Guide” for both tourism planning and development across the country. The Plan should however, be complemented by micro tourism planning at Provincial, District and other relevant lower levels because it does not zoom in to specific tourist attractions.
Furthermore, the Plan focuses on the development of leisure attractions and conference facilities where Zambia has comparative advantage for the country to rank among the most visited holiday destinations in Africa, as well as to become a regional conference hub. Development of tourist attractions will be strengthened by reviewing the country’s marketing brand for Zambia to become a ‘must see’ tourist destination of choice.
The Plan recognises the multi-faceted and inter-linked nature of the tourism sector which calls for interventions to be tackled simultaneously through integrated (multi-sectoral) development approach to implementing identified programmes. Tourism cuts across almost all Government Ministries and its success is highly dependent upon the coordination and cooperation of other partners. To this effect, the Plan brings on board the Presidential Tourism Council (PTC) under my Chairpersonship. The Council shall be an umbrella body for all relevant ministries where key aspects of tourism strategy shall be identified in order to eliminate obstacles that inhibit the implementation and tourism growth.
This Plan has identified key tourism attractions and strategic issues across the country and spells out what ought to be done in order for the tourism sector to meaningfully contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of Zambians. The document is meant to position the tourism sector as one of the country’s major contributors to job creation and foreign exchange earnings.
I am confident that effective implementation of this Master Plan will enable the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to facilitate the transformation of the tourism sector into a viable and sustainable industry capable of significantly contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, job creation and poverty reduction.