Tourism Opportunities in Zambia
…a Great Investment Potential

The tourism opportunities in Zambia have largely remained untapped despite its enormous potential. To start with opportunities are in the hospitality business such as hotels, lodges, and tourist camps.

The tourism opportunities are also open to the goods and services providers in tourism enterprises such safaris and hotels. And yet others are in the airline industry, farming and agro-business that supply food, car hire services, curio and handicrafts manufacturing, fuel stations, tourists’ shops, and the list goes on and on…

The Zambian government has recognized this and has now placed emphasis on developing Zambian Tourism . For a start Livingstone town has become a tax free zone for investments in tourism enterprises. As an incentive for local car hire and tour operators the government has waived visa fees to tourists that they bring in.

To make tourism succeed many organization have been put in place. These are the

  • Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB),
  • Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA),
  • Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ),
  • National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC),
  • the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ)
  • and, of course, the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

These players have different functions.

Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources

This government ministry deals with policy issues and ensures a level-paying field for all parties involved. Matters dealing with the law and investment in tourism may be channeled through the ministry.

Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB)

This is a government department charged with the responsibility of marketing and licensing tourism enterprises. They deal with implementation of government policy and registration of enterprises in the tourism industry. Click here for the description of their functions . ZNTB markets Zambian tourism abroad and locally. Check their web site by clicking here . As part of its function ZNTB provides information on the Zambian tourism sector and other related activities such accommodation, national parks, game management areas, etc. They are custodians of information on infrastructure in areas of tourist attractions. They keep information on areas that have been earmarked for the development in tourism.

Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA)

This is another department in the ministry. ZAWA manages the 19 national parks and the 34 game management areas. In total these areas constitute 30 percent of Zambia’s land. ZAWA’s conservation policy aims at contributing to the preservation of the national parks and game management areas by maintaining a sustainable eco-tourism to save Zambia’s economy and wildlife. ZAWA employs game rangers to fight poaching and control the wildlife population. To date ZAWA has managed to reduce the poaching index from 1.0 to 0.5. An index of 1.0 means that the game rangers, when on tours in the bush, find either poachers, their camp or a carcass of an animal.

National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC)

This is the third department under the ministry. This department is responsible for identifying national heritage monuments and sites, registering and protecting them. For example they identified the Victoria Falls as national heritage site and went further to have it recognized by the world heritage body under United Nations. Today the Victoria Falls is a world heritage site and protected by the UN.

When a site has been recognized and gazetted the NHCC recommends to ZNTB for its use as a sustainable tourist attraction. NHCC ensures that any development that takes on and about the heritage site does not destroy, spoil or disfigure it.

Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ)

As the fourth department of the ministry the ECZ deals with environmental concerns. No investment will be allowed to take place unless the investment plan addresses the environmental concerns.

What then is the ZNTB’s focus on tourism today? The world tourism industry is expanding at a very fast pace. Popular of these tourism segments are;

  1. Avi-tourism also known as birding (or bird watching) is the fastest growing segment at 18 percent worldwide. In Zambia a whopping 741 birds species have been recorded

  2. Adventure tourism involving adventure activities such as water sport, bungi jumping , abseiling, 4x4 driving, scuba diving , etc. Adventure tourism is also growing in popularity. It is for this reason that the Livingstone area has become Southern Africa Adventure Centre . Wildlife safari, the old faithful tourism. This includes walking safari, game drives, birding, fishing, game hunting, etc.

    Cultural tourism involving art, crafts, traditions, and the heritage of a particular community. Key in this area are the traditional ceremonies that 31 tribes hold annually.

  3. Beach tourism involving water sports and beach games. Lake Bangweulu in Northern Zambia has lots of white sands on the lake shore

However, to be able to enjoy tourism there is need to travel . And so the travel industry is a partner. So also is the hospitality sector (accommodation and cuisine) as another partner. The Zambian tourism also requires the expansion of the transport infrastructure. Many opportunities in this area exist. Visit the Zambia Investment Centre for more details .

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