TOURISM and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo has urged players in the tourism industry to maintain fair business practices during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly next year.
The minister said tourism operators should not spoil the events through unnecessary hiking of food and accommodation prices.
Ms Masebo said at a meeting with representatives from commercial banks in Lusaka yesterday that it would be unfair for tour operators to hike the charges because of the event.
Zambia would co-host the UNWTO general assembly with Zimbabwe next year where more than 3,000 delegates were expected to attend from 150 member States.
"Some Zambians have a habit of hiking prices when there are such events - everything goes up, accommodation goes up and food prices go up, but we are saying no! If anything we should reduce the prices so that we attract more tourists," she said.
Ms Masebo urged banks to come on board and support the hosting of the conference.
Vice-President Guy Scott who also attended the meeting urged representatives of commercial banks to partner with the Government in improving the tourism sector ahead of the general assembly.
He was aware about the challenges faced by the tourism sector and the tourists such as visa payments and other rates relating to game-viewing.
Dr Scott said the UNWTO was coming in Zambia amid inadequate Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Livingstone and urged the bank managers to ensure they established more facilities in the tourism capital.
At the same occasion, Standard Chartered Bank managing director, Mizinga Melu said more publicity of the UNWTO was needed, especially among the local people to make them understand the benefits.