Zambia To Explore Tourism Potential Of Lake Tanganyika To Boost Sector

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The Zambia Tourism Board has recently undertook a plan together with the country’s tourism stakeholders to explore the tourism potential on Lake Tanganyika in Mpulungu district in Zambia’s Northern Province to boost growth in the sector in 2016 and following years.

Lake Tanganyika, the largest freshwater lake in the world and second one in terms of volume after Lake Baikal in Russia, is shared with Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, with Zambia claiming 7% of its surface.

Due to its vast fish species’ variety, clear water, biologically unique habitats, and history it constitutes one of the main sources of tourism together with the Victoria Falls in Livingston in Zambia’s border region with Zimbabwe and the national parks which cover 30% of the country’s area totaling 752,614 square kilometers according to Zambia Tourism.

According to Mr. Geoffrey Chellah, one of the tourism sector’s main stakeholders, the different road construction projects that have been undertook in the country as Link Zambia 8000 and Pave Zambia 2000, will boost tourism on Lake Tanganyika since tourist will reach more easily the Northern Province.

Lake Tanganyika and surrounding areas count with notable tourism sites that are not currently well marketed, reason why the government and stakeholders have to focus on promote the region to boost the country’s visitor exports through the lake, Kalambo and Chishimba Falls, Mr. Chellah stressed.

The plan would include promotion of water-based activities as snorkeling, Scuba-diving, sport fishing, and kayaking while including sightseeing tours to Niamkolo Church, the oldest stone-built church in Zambia and to Kituta Bay where a missionary steamboat, the SS Good News, lies abandoned there.

These activities are meant to attract tourist from all over the world and boost income in the tourism sector, explained Mpulungu Harbour Authority (MHA) Manager, Mr. Dennis Kaluba.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Zambia recorded ZMW 1.8 trillion in revenues from tourism total contribution representing 3.0% of total exports in 2014 up from ZMW 1.3 trillion and representing 2.7% of total exports in 2013.

Visitor exports, the total spent by international visitors in a country, are expected to have closed 2015 with an increase of 5.7% and grow at a rate of 4.9% per annum towards 2025 to reach ZMW 2.7 trillion and representing 3.2% of total exports.

The rise in revenues and visitor exports helped the country to attract more investments in the tourism sector which totaled ZMW 380.9 billion in 2013 that increased by 7.8% in 2014 and are expected to raise by 7.8% per annum towards 2025 to reach ZMW 868.9 billion according to WTTC.

In addition, Zambia marked a steady growth of 31% to reach 1.2 million international arrivals in 2014 from 912,576 in 2013 after growing 6.7% from 859,088 in 2012 according to the Zambia Tourism Board.