A Zambia National Dance Troupe likishi performing to local and foreign tourists at Maramba Cultural village in Livingstone
FILE: A Zambia National Dance Troupe likishi performing to local and foreign tourists at Maramba Cultural village in Livingstone

Zambia again failed to meet its annual target of attracting 1 million tourist arrivals in 2015

This is according to figures contained in the 2015 Tourism Statistical Digest released by the he United Nations World Tourism Organisations (UNWTO).

Zambia recorded a total of 931,782 international tourist arrivals in 2015 compared to 946,969 tourists in 2014 resulting in a decline of 1.6 percent.

Out of the 53.3 million international tourists’ arrivals to Africa, Zambia received only 1.7 percent of the total tourists’ arrivals in Africa.

Business tourists dominated the arrivals contributing 54 percent while holiday and leisure travelers were second at 25 percent.

There was a marked reduction decline for leisure and holiday tourism from 249,501 in 2014 to 235,235 in 2015 representing a decrease of 5.7 percent.

Business tourist arrivals also reduced from 506,054 tourists in 2014 to 499,584 in 2015 which translated to 1.3 percent decline.

However, there was an increase in conference arrivals from 21,013 in 2014 to 22,902 in 2015 representing an increase of 9 percent.

The total number of tourist visits to the five national parks inclusive of Lusaka Park was 101, 972.

South Luangwa National Park had the highest number of tourists at 43, 653 while Lower Zambezi National Park recorded the least tourists at 9,011.

The Victoria Falls, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and Zambia’s flagship tourism product, recorded 141,929 tourists compared to 152,798 tourists in 2014, representing a drop of 7.7 percent.

During the year under review, the total number of rooms available was 43,119 as compared to 42,932 in 2014, representing an increase of 0.4 percent.
The 2015 national annual average room occupancy rate increased from 61.9 percent in 2014 to 69.8 percent in 2015 while the national annual average bed occupancy rate during the year under review was 71.4 percent compared 72.2 percent in 2014.

The increase in room occupancy rate could be attributed to increase in domestic tourism activities and Meeting Incentives Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE).

The average length of stay reduced to four days in 2015 as compared to five and half days in 2014.

The number of people employed in the hospitality industry during the year under review was 57,384 compared 57,003 in 2014 recording an increase of 0.7 percent.

Southern Province recorded a high number of employees accounting for 22,872 employees in the hospitality industry while Northern Province had the least record of employees at 836.

The annual tourism earnings increased from K3, 945,710,713.08 in 2014 to K4, 408, 160,075.42 in 2015 representing an increase of 11.38 percent.

However, the annual tourism earning, when converted to the United States Dollars dropped by 34.9% from US$616 million in 2014 to US$ 401 million in 2015.

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47 COMMENTS

    • Who in his right mind can come to Zambia where is selective or no justice at all.? A country with doubtful justice system fear try their best to avoid it. Look at North Korea, the only tourists it has are chinese.

      What Lungu did to deny opposition justice has tarnished Zambia in the eyes of prospective foreign visitors and investor.

      If I can as a Zambia can not feel 100% safe to come to Zambia what more foreigners? Its not long when PF unleashed PF cadres to kill refugees and you think the foreign office travel advice has changed, hey!

      Just look at the foreign office Zambia travel advice of the western world to understand why tourists numbers are dwindling.

      Lungu and his thieves and murderers have destroyed Zambia.

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    • As dual nationality is not yet effected. Zambians carrying British passport like myself who come home to visit relatives are likely being termed as tourists.

      These numbers are flawed. It

      Thanks

      BB2014

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    • But when ask those chaps at ZTB and Ministry Of Tourism you will hear that they even got a X-mas bonus and other end of year allowances.

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    • Failed leadership and policies. how do u meet targets without strategies?? does Zambia have objectives? or its guess work?? alot needs to be done?? we are way behind.

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    • Even tiny Swaziland manages to attract more people than Zambia possibly can. Although some of the country’s services are sloppy, the people especially women are wonderful!

      I drove to a female colleague’s village about 50km from Matsapa and the entire road was perfect.
      The days were just good …

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    • Ba Mushota, ,you will not be counted a tourist since your family is not a tourist attraction and how much in comparison to the expenses.

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    • “The increase in room occupancy rate could be attributed to increase in domestic tourism activities and Meeting Incentives Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE).”

      Majority must be Gov’t agencies and we know what happens there…i thought Sata put a cap on this

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    • What everyone is failing to see is that 2015 was an election year and where most tourists come from authorities issue travelling alerts and warnings about certain destinations such as those where polls are being held. Add to this how vicious elections in Zambia have become especially between the no nosense UPND and the pro poor PF.

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  1. Its not surprising considering we were in an election year and all that publicity about political violence is certainly one of the contributing factors. We should work at advertising more of our tourism sites this year and hopefully we can pass the 1 million target.

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    • @concerned

      Its not about cost but about safety. South Africa is more costly than Zambia, but touirsts flock there.

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    • @ Muntu,
      R u commenting on facts or assumptions or maybe u have been out of the region for a long. SA is far cheaper than Zambia in terms of nearly everything. U can catch a local flight is SA for R600 or less depending on the specials. That is less than $ 50-00. In Zambia, try and u will pay at times 3 times. The same category lodges & Hotels in SA are also very affordable. A dirty Lodge in Zambia will charge much more. Try & hire a small car in Zambia, they don’t even fill it up & u still pay more per. The list is endless. I currently spend most time between the two countries and i know the facts very well. If u drink imported beers like Heinken, Windhoek etc, try Radisson in Lusaka, u will almost pay double compared to a similar high class pub in SA.

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    • You are absolutely right, not only is safety the issue but it is also very expensive, you just have to look at the prices of hotels and lodges. I can stay in a quality hotel in London for less than some of the places in Lusaka. Equivalent of £5 for a 330ml bottle of lager its criminal, but then some of these people don’t have to really work for their money, its proceeds of corruption so they don’t mind so much.

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    • You get what you pay for…if you want noisy busy traffic of jeeps in a game park go to Kenya and South Africa.

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    • Spot on!! Zambia is an expensive destination, lacks innovation poor customer service and zero advertising

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  2. How can we attract 1,000,000 tourists when roads accessing our prime tourist destinations are in deplorable state!livingstone – sesheke road…lets priotize key infrastructure projects

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  3. 931,782, is a lot of tourists if you seriously think about it. In an election year for that matter. Zambians are just crazy sometimes.

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    • Elections have nothing to do with it…target is 1 million if you miss it by one its still a fail..please lets promote a performance related culture!!

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  4. It’s not about numbers, it’s about quality. There’s a place called North Island situated on the Pacific near Seychelles, with only a maximum of 25 tourist arrivals per year but it’s a holiday resort par excellence. It’s natural beauty and hotel services are appreciated by the richest people who will pay any ammount to spend their time there.

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    • Happy New year and Blessings for you my friend. One of the originals and wise members of Lusaka Times. Before the watchdog ( UPND ) and Tumfweko ( PF ) logic lacking cadres invaded this once wonderful comment section. Your words of that Island are true to a Tee. How have you been, prayerfully, you, myself, Engone Bloko and General Miyanda can develop Zambia.

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    • My ex work colleague had their honeymoon there and from the pictures its a beautiful place.

      The scenery is exemplary.

      Thanks

      BB2014

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  5. Happy New year and Blessings for you my friend. One of the originals and wise members of Lusaka Times. Before the watchdog ( UPND ) and Tumfweko ( PF )no logic invaders flooded this once wonderful comment section. Your words of that Island are true to a Tee. How have you been?
    Prayerfully, you, myself, Engone Bloko and General Miyanda can develop Zambia.

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  6. Zambia in its current state in terms of road safety and certainty in the nation beside economic factors are the two main reasons to make Zambia as a tourist attraction. When Zambians seek justice over injustices this call goes outside Zambian boarders. Tourists are not foolish people they do their homework before they decide to come just like investors. Zambia is pricked by its own spikes, PF govt can manage to cheat Zambians but not the world.

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  7. Simply get rid of trophy hunting and promote sustainable tourism…move with times like Botswana; they even have a programme of National Geographic Wild called Safari Brothers promoting the Okavanga …we need to smarten up.

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  8. What do you expect when we have Zambian diplomats busy having parties and drinking at these embassies instead of advertise Zambia and working with respective countries to insure that people come into Zambia. Our diplomats are doing nothing just like Chakolwa Lungu.

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  9. that is what happens when you put caders as ministers of tourism. Jean kapata was the most clueless minister, just like lungu.

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  10. Zambian embassies are sleeping! Most embassies are the stuff of nightmares, unprofessionalism no ubu nangani generally! How can you attract tourists when you cannot even build proper websites!!! In these days of DIY!!! Send professional diplomats instead of cadres who look like ex prisoners or tasintha escapees!!! Shucks!

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  11. Again I see that some comments aiming at tarnishing the image of the president are actually making him popular. In most if not all situation an election year has its own issues regarding tourism visitation to a country. Zambia is not isolated.

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    • @ madiba

      Now you have become expert in tourism? More likely you are expert in crapping. What the f*cking popularity of Zambian president has to do with tourism? If anything, current political nightmare is a deterrent to visitors.

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  12. How can we increase that number when we are bogged down by Red Tape and inefficiency? Go to the Zambian high commission in London and you’ll be dissapointed in how what is suppossed to be Zambia’s face in the UK actually looks like an outpost in Shangombo! Sad but its true! Elo there is need to fire non performing overseas govt staff that are more interested in spending time on social media than working, ungrateful chaps like Jayjay and Mushota who might even be in the foreign service yet are accustomed to insulting the govt that’s employing them! Hopeless cretins!

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    • @2020vision – who is a hopeless cretin you who is complaining about Govt services abroad yet in the selfsame sentence you complaining are about others who sight the selfsame shambolic services in all department in Zambia…now you cadres are also beginning to feel the pinch!!

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  13. Zambia has some of the best game reserves in the world and a lot more potential for other attractions. Of the 53 million that visited Africa, barely a million came to Zambia. With what we have, that’s unacceptable. Marketing is poor, the resorts are costly and a number of infrastructure upgrading in these areas is needed. These factors need to be looked at. The gap between the number that visit Kenya or SA and Zambia, is too large. I don’t know what has happened to Kafue national park, for example. I know it was regarded as one of the largest parks in Africa with a vast array of wild animals. These days I hear mostly only of Luangwa – even on documentaries.

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    • Spot on…Zambia provides a pristine niche type of safari (Walking safari) as compared to its competitors and has among the best lodges and camps in Africa. Our number one setback is Marketing, not mere throwing at funds to do a milk round around the world that’s outdated but Smart Marketing where you encourage Travel Journalists and Editors from International travel magazines, International TV broadcasting companies, newspapers to visit in teams co-sponsored by ZTB.

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  14. Political unrest caused by UPND ! Gov’ts abroad warn their citizens to stay away especially in the election year.

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    • @ 1mbecile above

      It is 1mbecility of people like you which scares tourists from visiting Zambia.

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  15. 2020vision, what is the solution you can offer. Or are you one of those that just tap your way in life. Tell me how the ZHC in London can do better regarding the circumstances of our country. If not, Shut up and sit down.

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  16. Government could learn from other countries instead of creating useless self-fattening agencies such as Zambia Tourism Agency which simply charge money to tourism operators and chew it. Even countries with incidents of terrorism and civil unrest such as Thailand beat Zambia by about 29 million arrivals per year, and these are mostly real tourists, not tuma “investors”. Send Kapata to school or appoint someone who doesn’t just chew money, get fat and do nothing useful while laughing and saying “kuli global”

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  17. Tourists are not flocking to Zambia because there is no attraction strategy in place. I agree with those condemning our embassies for sleeping and lack of innovation by those tasked with developing the tourism industry! Tourism is not only about national parks and animals its much more! Information in form of pamphlets is missing in our missions abroad and when intending travelers visit our missions the staff are themselves quite ignorant on how to generate that interest for one to choose to spend a holiday in Zambia and not any other place! Tourism image builders can be hired to shoot a short documentary that our missions abroad can use to sell Zambia by scheduling weekly viewing times and round table discussions with potential tourists! Additionally tourism is not all about foreign…

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  18. contd…. arrivals it must also be affordable and attractive to citizens as they form part of a larger group advertising Zambia wherever they go!

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  19. Just think of it. You have just landed at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and the first thing that greets you is Cadres exchanging blows as they fight for handouts from the ‘powerful’ recently enriched Bwanas – even pushing and threatening the poor cops with firing if they persisted restraining them!
    Next, as your hired Taxi transfers you to the Hotel, the Driver has, for most of the journey, to park on the side as unruly cadres just can’t regard the Traffic Rules.
    Taking a walk from Hotel Intercontinental reveals yet more frightening scenes of Cops throwing down a coffin containing Grazer’s body as fellow supporters attempt to give him a Hero’s send off! Is this what can attract tourists? I guess not.

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  20. What everyone is failing to see is that 2015 was an election year and where most tourists come from authorities issue travelling alerts and warnings about certain destinations such as those where polls are being held. Add to this how vicious elections in Zambia have become especially between the no nosense UPND and the pro poor PF.

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  21. Zambia has a tourist president, so more money is used for the tourist president than for adverts. But then Zambia is very expensive. Hotels and lodges etc are very expensive. Towns and cities are dirty with papers all over. Check Livingstone & compare its cleanness with Victoria Falls town. Check any recent videos and see the difference between the two. No one also have made the Zed side of Vic falls user friendly for the disabled with wheel chairs except in few places. Our side is not as flat as the Zim side but this is where we need to innovate some ways for the elderly and disabled and others to to go with a cable car all the way besides just walking. YouTube is free but it takes ages for the ZTB to post a video there. Yet many people now know how the countries look like through YouTube

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