Zambia has significant potential for tourism and offers a wealth of natural tourism assets. Attractions include Victoria Falls - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO Heritage site – abundant lakes and rivers, and wildlife-protected areas in the form of 20 national parks and 34 game management areas that together occupy some 10 percent of the country’s total land area. Zambia is also endowed with a rich and diverse culture that enjoys more than 30 colorful traditional ceremonies annually. However, this sector continues to underperform and remains underutilized, and thus creating opportunities for improvement. Ecotourism is still under-exploited in Zambia, but with its abundant nature and wilderness, it offers potential investment opportunities. The COVID-19 global pandemic significantly disrupted international tourism arrivals and has severely impacted the sector, though there will be opportunities for re-investment when widespread international travel resumes.
There are opportunities in tourism services and infrastructure. Zambia lacks adequate hotel room capacity in key tourist destinations and in copper-producing regions. Other opportunities include safaris, canoeing, game drives, nature walks, bungee jumping, microlight flights, sport fishing, rock climbing, and orienteering.
Local tourism associations estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic reduced sector revenue by some $300 million in 2020. International visitors in 2019 spent $849 million, representing ten percent of the country’s total exports. During the same period, the sector contributed seven percent of gross domestic product ($1.7 billion) and 7.2 percent of total employment. Businesses in this sector have identified creative ways to stay open and reduced prices to entice domestic tourists during the pandemic, but many have expressed concerns that they may have to sell assets if the environment does not improve. As such, additional investment opportunities may be available before regular travel resumes.
Key government and regulatory agencies:
Zambia Tourism Agency
1st Floor Petroda House
Great East Road, Rhodespark
P.O. Box 30017
Tel: +260 211 229 087 | +260 211 229 090
Additional Web Resources:
- Zambia Tourism Agency
- Zambia Development Agency