Toursim Minister Sylvia Masebo says that hotels in the tourism capital of Livingstone have started reducing accommodation rates by as much as US$100 to attract more guests at the UNWTO conference approaches, which some have interpreted as a sign of declining interest in the event.
Masebo, who addressed the UNWTO local organising committee at New Fairmount Hotel, said instead of hiking the lodging fees, hoteliers in Livingstone had opted to reduce the charges in order to attract visitors.
“Seven hotels have agreed to take into account that this is not a period for making money but a period for us as Zambia to market ourselves and we have to pay. The rates for Zambia are almost exactly as Zimbabwe and in situations where the Zambian hotels may have better facilities, we tried to remain competitive,” she said.
She said Hotels including the Royal Livingstone, Zambezi Sun, David Livingstone Spar, Chrismar, Protea, Courtyard Hotel and Fallsway Lodge had reduced lodging charges from about US$400 to US$300.
“Government funded us very well in most of the activities or programmes that we have come up with as relevant committee and departments of government in terms of getting ourselves ready for the conference,” Masebo said.