Victoria Falls

Zambia wants to attract more investments in the tourism sector to increase tourist arrivals beyond one million and boost economic growth, says tourism permanent secretary George Zulu.

Tourism accounts for about 18 per cent of Zambia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is a key employer, especially in the southern African country’s rural areas, but investments into the sector have been hampered by poor road infrastructure.

Zulu said the expansion and upgrading of the country’s road and rail infrastructure currently going on was likely to drive more investment into the sector and spur an increase in visitors.

“We are opening up the country and investors need to take advantage of this to invest in Zambia’s tourism sector which has massive potential,” Zulu said. “They should build lodges, hotels, as well as invest in the air and road transport business because the opportunities have been brought closer to them.”

Zambia has been pushing to diversify the economy away from mining to agriculture and tourism for sustainable growth. Zulu explained that the government was targeting increased growth for the tourism sector this year and beyond.

He said the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly was an opportunity for Zambia to strategise on increasing its world tourism market share.

ZTB“Zambia’s current share of the global tourism market was too low considering that the country is vested with extensive natural resources,” Zulu said.

“The government is determined to tackle all those challenges that have hampered the growth of the tourism sector and we are determined to grow Zambia’s market share in the global tourism sector.”

Zambia and Zimbabwe are co-hosting the UNWTO General Assembly next month.



Date: 19 July 2013