WTTC: Travel and Tourism is Zambia’s 2018 fastest-growing national economic sector

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is getting ready for its Annual Summit in Seville next month, and Africa will be happy.

Report after report is confirming enormous growth potential for the African Travel and Tourism industry.

Alongside WTTC’s good numbers, a new initiative spearheaded by the eTN Corporation is the African Tourism Board which will launch on April 11 at an ATB Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

“This all confirms the important role Africa has established globally,” said eTN President and Interim African Tourism Board Chairman Juergen Steinmetz.

Travel and Tourism is Zambia’s 2018 fastest-growing national economic sector, contributing US$1,846.9MN (ZMK19.4 billion) to national economy, reported WTTC, and 318.9 thousand jobs to the Zambian economy in 2018 while posting a +6.3% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the fastest and bullish economic sector in the country.

International visitors alone spent ZMK8.4 billion representing 8.3% of the total Zambian exports, and in terms if spending characteristics the leisure sectors account for a total of 38% while business was at 62%. Domestic spending on tourism and travel stood at 47% while international spending was 53%. The industry is estimated to create a total of 464.6 thousand jobs in 2019 with an estimated 1.1million expected international visitors in 2019.  This is according to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s annual review of the economic impact and social importance of the sector released this month.

Tsogo Sun Garden Court Hotel Kitwe Zambia – Photo courtesy of Garden Court Kitwe Management

WTTC is an international non-governmental organization which represents the Travel and Tourism private sector globally with over 170 membership that includes CEOs, chairmen, and presidents of the world’s leading Travel and Tourism businesses from across the globe covering all industries. The organization works to raise awareness of Travel and Tourism as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, supporting one in 10 jobs (319 million world wide and generating 10.4% of the world GDP in 2018).

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The World Travel and Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel and Tourism. The organization promotes sustainable growth for the Travel and Tourism sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Together with Oxford Economics an international consulting firm headquartered in Oxford United Kingdom and prides itself as a global leader in forecasting and quantitative analysis, produces annual research that shows Travel and Tourism to be one of the world’s largest sectors. WTTC has been producing comprehensive reports quantify, compare and forecast the economic impact of Travel and Tourism on 185 economies around the world for nearly 30 years. In addition to individual country fact sheets, and fuller country reports, WTTC produces a world report highlighting global trends and 25 further reports that focus on regions, sub-regions and economic and geographic groups.

Commenting on this extraordinary data by WTTC, Zambia’s celebrated tourism pundit Dr. Percy Ngwira stated that WTTC has revealed something that needs thorough reflection and validation in line with Zambia’s national data produced relevant national competent institutions. He was, however, quick point out that the travel and tourism sector in Zambia has indeed being growing arguably so in the past five years owing to the current governments implantations of conducive policy and commitment to develop the sector.

According to the Zambia’s Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda who is also UNWTO Executive Council Chair the current Zambian government has recognized prioritized the tourism and placed it as the second most important economic sector in the country that is poised to play  a significant  role in the country’s economic emancipation towards the achievement of Zambia’s  national Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country  into a prosperous middle income nation by the year  2030 and to create a new Zambia which is a strong and dynamic middle-income industrial nation that provides opportunities for improving the well-being of all, embodying values of socio economic justice.

Recently Zambia has witnessed growing investment in the tourism sector, many new hotels have been built including Hilton Hotel group that opened a $100m luxury 20-floor mixed-use Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the Zambian capital Lusaka in 2018.

The Zambian copper rich region located near the Democratic Republic of Congo also had a new state of art hotel by Tsogo Sun of South Africa Garden Court Kitwe that was open late last year.

eTN is a media partner for WTTC.

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