The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recently announced that Zambia is among three countries that are experiencing the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world.
Zambia shares the top three with Namibia in Africa and China in Asia, which is the largest outbound market in the world and whose visitor exports grew from CNY 321 billion (USD 50 billion) in 2013 to CNY 374.3 billion (USD 59 billion) in 2014, and that is expected to grow by 2.2% in 2015 and to keep a growth of 5.5% per annum in the period 2016-2025 to reach the CNY 655.5 billion (USD 103 billion).
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Zambia’s visitor exports grew from ZMW 1,268.8 billion (USD 240 million) in 2013 to ZMW 1,800 billion (USD 350 million) in 2014.
However it is expected to fall by 5.7% in 2015 due to the Kwacha’s depreciation, to then recover and keep a growth of 4.9% per annum in the period 2016-2025 to reach the ZMW 2,700 billion (USD 520 million).
Zambia’s Permanent Representative to UNWTO Humphrey Chilu Chibanda explained that since the co-hosting of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly together with Zimbabwe in 2013, Zambia’s tourism sector started to grow at a faster rate.
Zambia’s tourism sector total contribution to GDP reached the 6.1% in 2014 up from 5.2% in 2013 while supported job creation representing 4.2% of the country-s total employment in 2014 up from 3.6% in 2013.
Among Zambia’s most interesting attractions is a wide range of national parks, lakes and waterfalls with Victoria Falls on the Zambesi River – the largest waterfall in the world – being the most famous, and declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2007.