2012 was a bad year for Zambian tourism. The chart below shows tourist arrivals in Zambia from other regions of the world. All major national parks suffered significant reduction. I doubt 2013 will be any better.
These substantial decline in arrivals shows how poorly positioned Zambia's tourism is. It is very susceptible to global economic forces (but the Eurozone crisis does not quite explain reduction in arrivals from North and South America). Our tourism policy appears stagnant. Its progress is being impeded by lack of policy direction from the top, poor marketing and hotel infrastructure especially in Luapula and Northern Provinces.
On going GRZ investment in transport infrastructure should reduce cost of doing tourism business provided the projects are properly delivered and maintained. But that wont make up for a non-existent tourism policy. And of course it is vital Zambia maintains a positive image to the world - as a peace and democratic state that is open for business.
Question : what specific policies are needed to boost tourism? Share in the comments below.
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Chola Mukanga | Economist
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