bridge over the river

In a momentous move for Zambia’s tourism industry, the government has given the green light to a substantial 25% increase in the budget allocated for tourism in 2024. The boost is aimed at advancing tourism infrastructure, intensifying marketing efforts, enhancing wildlife management, and further developing a diverse range of tourism products.

The grand unveiling of the 2024 National Budget, which took place at the end of September, showcased the government’s strong commitment to the country’s tourism sector. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane, revealed that the government has allocated an impressive ZMK769.5 million (approximately AUD$55 million) to bolster the tourism industry. This significant allocation marks a substantial uptick from the ZMK589 million budget for 2023.

In 2024, the government’s top priorities include making the most of the US$100 million obtained from the World Bank for the ‘Green, Resilient, and Transformational Tourism Development’ project. This endeavour will focus on enhancing tourism infrastructure in prominent areas like Kasaba Bay and Liuwa Plain National Park. Furthermore, the funding will facilitate the improvement of air and road connectivity to the southwest tourism circuit, encompassing Liuwa, Sioma-Ngwezi, Livingstone, Lower Zambezi, and Kafue National Parks.

The ambitious approach doesn’t stop there; Zambia is set to embark on a multitude of initiatives. One of the key initiatives is the establishment of a tourism satellite account, which will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the sector’s economic impact. The government aims to diversify its tourism products, embracing cultural tourism, avitourism, health tourism, and sports tourism. Additionally, Zambia will continue to support the hosting of meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and incentive travel to further bolster its tourism industry.

In October, Tourism Minister Rodney Shikumba emphasized the need for a broader perspective on the sector’s contribution. He directed the Tourism Council of Zambia and the Zambia Tourism Agency to report on a range of indicators in 2024, extending beyond traditional international and domestic tourist arrival statistics. The goal is to demonstrate the tourism industry’s positive impact on taxes, employment, and investment. By highlighting these contributions, the government aims to underscore the economic significance of tourism, placing it on par with other vital sectors such as mining, agriculture, energy, and manufacturing.

This significant increase in the budget and the government’s strategic initiatives undoubtedly pave the way for a promising future for Zambia’s tourism sector. With a fresh focus on sustainability and diversity, Zambia is well-poised to capture the hearts of travellers, both near and far, and enrich its economy through the dynamic world of tourism.

Editor Africa Beat

Africa Beat is the source of all your news and updates in the travel industry out of Africa. You will find also find reviews and features focused on Africa.

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