Friday, May 29, 2009

TCZ calls for Infrastructure development

TCZ calls for Infrastructure development
Written by Kabanda Chulu
Friday, May 29, 2009 4:36:18 PM

TOURISM Council of Zambia (TCZ) has challenged the government to seriously consider infrastructure development as an ongoing development strategy with an annual implementation budget for a sustained period of time.

And TCZ executive director Josephine Mehl has said the 2009 budget lacked incentives for the existing enterprises in the tourism sector to be able to compete favourably in the midst of the global economic crisis.

Making submissions to the Parliamentary committee on Economic and Labour Affairs on the impact of the global crisis on the tourism sector in Lusaka on Wednesday, Mehl said infrastructure development was a long-term measure that would not be accomplished within a year to bring about growth and investment.

“The Budget is essentially addressing the issues of infrastructure development to attract investment particularly for the tourism sector and what remains to be seen is how the implementation will be done within the budget time frame especially that government has come up with an infrastructural development programme in tourist centres in the Northern circuit,” Mehl said.

“Construction of roads, airports and bridges as a requisite to attract investment is a long term measure that should have been an ongoing development strategy with an annual implementation budget for a sustained period of time and even beyond. We welcome increased investment in the tourism sector but small investments that do not tie up within an overall planned strategy will be wasted.”

Mehl said the private sector would have liked the national budget to address fiscal and non-fiscal measures that would stimulate growth in the tourism business in responding to the global economic crisis.

Government has this year allocated K99 billion towards the rehabilitation of the Zimba-Livingstone road to improve access to the tourist capital, K24 billion to rehabilitate the Mbala to Kasaba Bay road and K11 billion for the construction of a terminal at Mbala Air Force Base and rehabilitation of the Kasaba Bay airstrip.

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