Africa: Zambia turns to tourism as economic stimulus
The Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) is hosting more than 60 international buyers and media this week ahead of the Zambia Travel Expo (ZATEX) from April 12 to 14 in Lusaka.
There are three familiarisation tours which feature a trip to a game reserve, but the one common feature is that all three tours include a visit to Livingstone, the Zambian city closest to the Victoria Falls.
“No one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight,” David Livingstone wrote on November 12, 1855 when he first saw the falls that locals called “the smoke that thunders”.
The ZTA is more ambitious and has buyers from Africa, America and Asia as it believes that the tourism gems of Zambia should have a wider exposure, while at the same time stimulating the local economy.
A survey by Travelzoo, a popular US-based travel portal, showed a record high (more than 60 per cent) number of Chinese respondents who plan to travel in-depth in 2018 and want to visit Africa this year.
“In-depth travels” is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience.
For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination Chinese travelers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia.
According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that China’s tourists have had the world’s strongest purchasing power since 2012.
Most Chinese tourists traveled to Asian and European countries, accounting for 75 percent of overseas tourists in those countries, but there is now renewed focus on African destinations.
This shows that BRICS countries are a key tourism market for the Zambian tourism industry.
In the meantime, Chinese firms are building a new terminal building at Lusaka airport, which will open in January 2019.