The tourism industry offers many opportunities to invest in Africa’s wealthy local communities, generate economic activity and create employment opportunities for women and youth.
Africa’s unique history and natural wonders are attracting attention amid local and global increases in cultural, heritage and development tourism. Several African countries show enormous promise of becoming or remaining vibrant hosts for tourists, investors and entrepreneurs, which can boost employment for low-skilled workers and economic inclusion for women and youth.
Through March 5, 2019, Brookings suggested that policymakers improve governance through a better coordinated effort across agencies to simplify regulations, remove barriers to tourism development, attract investors and promote tourist destinations.
- The Zambia Tourism Authority (ZTA) has announced that there will be no VISA requirements for the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Norway, Australia, China, South Korea, the Gulf States and the European Union.
- In 2019, Zambia approved its Tourism Master Plan 2018 to 2038, a practical 20-year development strategy aimed at enhancing the economic contribution of the tourism sector to the Southern African nation’s economy.
- Tourism is the fastest growing economic sector in the country, contributing $1.8 billion last year.
In addition, policy makers were also urged to unlock competitiveness and ease of doing business in the tourism sector with the development of infrastructure, including for road, air and maritime transport, as well as the simplification of requirements in visa matters and administrative processes.
Three years later, Zambia scrapped visa requirements for the European Union, China and the United States of America, among other lucrative global tourism markets, in a bid to revive the tourism sector negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Zambia already has a visa-free policy for most African countries.
The sector’s performance was seriously affected by the travel restrictions necessitated by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which led to significant job losses.
In a notice issued on Sunday, the Zambia Tourism Authority (ZTA) announced that there would be no VISA requirements for the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Norway, Australia, China, South Korea, the Gulf States and the European Union. This is from October 1, 2022.
The Zambia Tourism Agency (formerly the Zambia Tourism Board) was established in 2015 to market and promote Zambia as a top travel destination and to regulate the tourism industry.
Zambia is home to the famous Victoria Falls, vast wildlife resources, diverse landscapes, wild nature, diverse culture and national heritage, adventure activities and much more.
These developments follow the country’s approval of its Tourism Master Plan 2018 to 2038, a practical 20-year development strategy aimed at enhancing the economic contribution of the tourism sector to the economy of the Southern African nation. .
“Currently the fastest growing economic sector in the country – contributing $1.8 billion last year. The vision is for Zambia to rank among the most visited holiday destinations in Africa,” according to market information from the country’s tourism sector.
In 2018, Zambia received a total of 1,072,012 international tourist arrivals (a 6.2% increase from 2017) and in 2019, 1.2 million arrivals were recorded. Growth in this sector slow motion in the second quarter of 2021 to 3.4% compared to 4.8% in the first quarter of 2021.
In the 2020 National Budget, the government announced enhanced funding to support the Northern Circuit, a region that offers a myriad of tourism offerings consisting of waterfalls, national parks and other heritage sites as well as rich traditional ceremonies that take place every year.
The country’s president, Hakainde Hichelema, said in a recent budget speech that Zambia is focusing on increasing the number of foreign visitors to the country. “Tourism is a huge business, but we haven’t marketed Zambia well in the past.”
Zambia has also used international agents to market the country. Additionally, the country continued to use overseas missions to aggressively market the destination. Zambia also participates in selected international exhibitions such as ITB Berlin, FITUR in Madrid and Vankantibuers in the Netherlands, to name a few.
According to Tourism Update, when driving travel and tourism in Africa, it is important that the aviation industry sits at the table.
The Zambian government is working hard to create an investor-friendly environment and improve accessibility to the country. This has included the reintroduction of a national carrier and visa reforms.
Massive investment in international airports in Zambia is already visible with a brand new building in Livingstone and Lusaka due to open later this year, according to Zambian Ground Handlers Founder and Director, Nick Aslin.
“The tourism product is much more sophisticated and professional in terms of service and product quality, which in turn has opened it up to a wider variety of travellers,” he said.
Zambia has memorable tourism products with sustainable competitive advantages and quality that meets or exceeds global standards.
The breathtaking Victoria Falls; Devil’s Pool, an adrenaline-filled swim at the edge of Victoria Falls, is only accessible from the Zambian side, as is Livingstone Island, where David Livingstone first saw the falls. Lake Tanganyika in northern Zambia is the longest freshwater lake in the world and the largest and deepest in Africa.
The country has some unique sites including the Swing Gorge in Livingstone, Holy Cross Cathedral in Lusaka, Mwela Rocks in Kasama, Mukuni Village in Livingstone and Moto Moto Museum and WWI Graves in Mbala, to name a few.
According to Outlook Travel, Zambia has unrivaled wildlife offerings. The world’s largest mammal migration takes place in Zambia’s Kasanka National Park, when more than 10 million fruit bats converge each year from October to December; the wildebeest migration in Liuwa National Park also attracts tourists. The Thornicroft giraffe is only found in Zambia in the South Luangwa National Park.
You can visit Zambia for the safari opportunities it offers, but a guarantee is that you will also be captivated by its cultural offerings. Zambia has 72 different ethnic groups (many of whom speak the Bantu language), each with their own culture and customs. Many of these groups celebrate their cultural heritage by organizing traditional festivals; Ku-omboka, one of the best known, celebrates the end of the rainy season.
Finally, Zambia is a beacon of peace and a shining example in Africa of a country that has never been at war and continues to live in harmony.