from SNIKE MZULAH in Siavonga, Zambia
SIAVONGA, (CAJ News) – AUTHORITIES in southern Zambia have ordered some hotel and lodge owners to abolish entry fees, which they charge victors to access their facilities.
The practice has been reported in Siavonga District where operators charge between K100 (US$5,51) and K200 at the gate.
“Hotel and lodge owners who are involved in this should stop,” said Geoffrey Jakopo, Siavonga District Commissioner.
“This is not only retrogressive but also denying people access to the lakefront,” he said.
“I want to make this very clear. For us to market Siavonga, I want this to come to an end,” Jakopo emphasised.
“I want people, especially young ones, to access these hotels and lodges without paying an entry fee so that they can help us market Siavonga.”
Jakopo said the “New Dawn” government led by President Hakainde Hichilema was committed to boosting the tourism industry.
Tourism is a major forex earner.
“If we know how to handle tourism properly, we will attract more foreign tourists into Siavonga,” Kakopo said.
A manager at a named hotel said the entry fee which visitors pay at the gate is used as a coupon.
“A voucher is a piece of paper to be exchanged with goods or services. Not that you pay just for entry. We also don’t want conjunction because of the meetings and workshops that we normally have,” said the manager who refused to be named.
Reached for comment, Siavonga Hotel and Catering Association (HCAZ) chairperson, Tikambilani Banda, said the association would call for a meeting to resolve the issue.
“I have heard about this issue. We need to convene a meeting immediately and see how we can resolve this problem and ensure that everyone is happy, both the owners of the lodges and hotels as well as the general public,” Banda said.
– CAJ News