Zambia Tourism Agency set to start nationwide grading and classification

The Zambia Tourism Agency has announced that it will soon start grading all hotels operating in Zambia.

Chief Executive Officer Mr. Felix Chaila told journalists during a news briefing in Lusaka that the agency will devise standards in partnership with the Zambia Bureau of Standards to rate hotels. Mr Chaila said the exercise is important especially that hotels, lodges and resorts operating in Zambia have not been graded for a long time. He said the grading system will also offer an opportunity to clients to know what level of service quality to expect before checking in.

‘What has been happening is that for a long time, we have had hotels coming up and saying they are Five Star or Four Star without even having anything to prove that claim but the grading system will help change that‘ Mr. Chaila said before confirming that as part of the hospitality industry reforms, the agency now has new powers to regulate the entire industry.

He said the enactment of the Tourism and Hospitality Act No. 13 has given the agency the mandate to perform the role of Tourism Industry Regulator which includes inspections, grading, classification, licensing, and enforcement.
Mr. Chaila added that the structures for the licensing function are already in place and the licensing of tourism enterprises has already started. ‘The renewal period for 2017 licenses was to end on December 31, 2016, however, in recognition of some mitigating factors, this period has been extended to January 31, 2017‘.

Application forms may be downloaded from ZTA’s website or picked up from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts regional offices in Ndola and Kasama Mr. Felix Chaila said. He then concluded: ‘Our new mandate is about setting standards. It stems from a realization that we cannot reach higher heights in the promotion of tourism if our industry does not set minimum standards. It’s about benchmarking ourselves against our competitors in the region and beyond. From the response we have received so far, I am positive that the Zambian tourism industry is with us in delivering on this important mandate‘.

Source: ATC News