Zambia’s Tourism Sector Set for a Bumper Year with Ambitious Plans

Zambia’s Tourism Sector Set for a Bumper Year with Ambitious Plans

Zambia’s tourism sector is poised for a remarkable growth in 2024, following some strategic moves made by the government and the private sector since late-2023. The sector, which has been underperforming for years, is now aiming to attract more visitors and investors, and to showcase the country’s natural and cultural beauty.

One of the major moves that could boost Zambia’s tourism sector is the agreement with China to declare 2024 as the bilateral year of tourism and culture. The agreement, which was signed in December 2023, will see the two countries enhance their cooperation in promoting tourism, culture, youth, and other fields.

The agreement is expected to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Zambia, as well as the number of Zambian tourists visiting China. China is one of the largest sources of outbound tourists in the world, with more than 180 million Chinese traveling abroad in 2023. Zambia, on the other hand, has a lot to offer to Chinese tourists, such as its wildlife, scenery, heritage, and hospitality.

The agreement will also facilitate the exchange of cultural and artistic activities, such as festivals, exhibitions, performances, and exchanges. The agreement will also foster mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries.

LAM Resumes Maputo-Lusaka Flight Route

Another move that could benefit Zambia’s tourism sector is the resumption of the Maputo-Lusaka flight route by LAM, the national airline of Mozambique. The route, which was suspended in 2019 due to low demand, was relaunched in January 2024, with three flights per week.

The route will not only enhance the regional economic and tourism activity, but will also unlock sources of foreign exchange and add to Africa’s efforts to foster shared economic development. The route will also provide more connectivity and convenience for travelers from both countries, as well as from other parts of the world.

The route will also open up new opportunities for tourism development in both countries, as they have complementary attractions and products. Mozambique is known for its beaches, islands, and marine life, while Zambia is known for its wildlife, waterfalls, and adventure activities.

Government Sets Higher Targets and Reforms for Tourism Sector

The government of Zambia has also shown its commitment to improving the performance and potential of the tourism sector, by setting higher targets and implementing reforms. The government has set a target of attracting 5 million tourists by 2025, up from the current 1.4 million. The government has also set a target of increasing the tourism contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 7% to 10% by 2025.

To achieve these targets, the government has embarked on a number of reforms, such as improving the infrastructure, security, and accessibility of the tourism destinations, diversifying the tourism products and markets, enhancing the quality and standards of the tourism services and facilities, and promoting the tourism brand and image of Zambia.

The government has also engaged with various stakeholders, such as the private sector, the civil society, the media, and the international partners, to solicit their support and collaboration in developing the tourism sector. The government has also allocated more resources and incentives to the tourism sector, such as tax breaks, subsidies, and grants.