zdaThe Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has implored local and foreign investors to take advantage of various incentives in tourism to explore the massive potential and exploit it.

Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) manager Robert Banda said there was need for local and foreign investors to take advantage of the various tourist sites in Zambia and invest in them.

He said tourism was not just about Livingstone and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) but that it should go beyond the tourist capital.

Mr. Banda, who is also a member of the UNWTO committee, said there were vast investment opportunities available in the tourism sector which investors could take advantage of and create wealth.

“You see tourism should not just be about Livingstone and the UNWTO.

It must go beyond, looking at the many opportunities the country is endowed with in the sector,” Mr. Banda said.

He said ZDA realized that a number of agents and tour operators that attended the just-ended Africast Conference did not know about the many sites that Zambia had.

Mr. Banda said the tourism sector was an economic priority sector under the ZDA act that provided incentives such as zero rate on corporate income tax for five years, 50 per cent rate for six and seven years, 75 per cent for eight years and nine and full rate at 10 years.

Other incentives include zero duty on capital items, import value added tax (VAT) deferment, assistance in getting Government approvals, identification of local suppliers, immigration facilitation, reduced rental costs – MFEZ and support for building of infrastructure.

He cited opportunities in lodge and hotel development, conference centers and shopping malls, while other opportunities were in water sports, boats canoes, rowing boats and other water vessels.

“All these are good investment opportunities in which potential and willing investors can take advantage of and create wealth. You can see that Zambia is open for investments,” he said.

He said Zambia is endowed with a vast variety of wildlife species, 20 national parks, 36 game management areas, spectacular sites such as Victoria Falls and the rich cultural heritage – traditional ceremonies.

Mr. Banda sited main areas of investment as Livingstone and Kasaba Bay- Northern Circuit in Northern Province.

Mr. Banda said other areas like Luapula, Western and Copper belt Provinces had potential in beach tourism, water options, boating or rowing.

From: allafrica.com

By: Judith Namutowe

Date: 3 May 2013