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Saturday, 8 November 2008

The end of "reciprocal madness"

Earlier this year, the Mwanawasa led government (presumably instigated by Magande) took reciprocal action and increased visa charges for British residents (among others). A move that led to bizarre outcomes and was generally questioned by the Tourism Council of Zambia (see their fantastic paper here). Well the new President has now decided to slash visa fees across board, fitting in with his emerging vision of turning Zambia into a 'hub for everything' (Hat Tip : Kafue).

Chanter's Lodge Blog makes an interesting comment on this. Although the visa regime is quite low its not significantly lower than Botswana who are working hard to increase their tourist share of the market. Botswana also has significantly better infrastructure than Zambia.


  1. Cho,

    Very interesting perspective indeed from the front lines of tourism delivery. It seems that this may be a case of, "if you can't beat them, join them." Botswana has superior infrastructure, as does Zimbabwe (presuming they get their act together eventually), but both pale compared to Kenya's share, and has anyone taken a look at Dubai lately? Talk about infrastructure. Anyhow, it's all relative, so perhaps Botswana and maybe others can be persuaded to make a move to a common tourist visa program (at least for countries of origin that everyone in the area has equally good relations with, which is most of them to my knowledge), aiming to enhance the attractiveness of the entire region rather than merely compete within it.

  2. Tourism is the world's biggest industry and labor intensive (cooks, guides, interpreters, lodging, transport) - the more tourism Zambia gets, the better.

  3. It s not all about infrastructure. People who want the best infrastructure go to Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa. Travellers to Zambia are looking for the cozy "real Africa".

    The cutting of visa rates is esp good for backpackers and other travellers in transit. It hardly makes a difference for people who spend their whole holiday in Zambia because they pay for the whole package and 50$ more or less per person on an amount of at the very least 2.000$ won't make them change destinations.


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