The Central African country Zambia has, until now, survived mainly on agriculture and mining, especially copper production. Now, however, it would like to diversify its economy – and tourism plays a central part.
“The development of the tourism sector is part of the strategy to diversify our economy,” explained Charles R. Banda, the country’s tourism minister, at ITB Berlin on Wednesday. For this reason, Zambia, this year’s Convention & Culture Partner at ITB Berlin, is not only attracting visitors but also investors.
“The world is welcome to visit Zambia – and welcome to contribute to our product development with investments, as well,” explained Banda. Sustainability and environmental protection play a key role in developing the tourism infrastructure. “If we don’t preserve our nature then we will lose everything and have nothing left that we can show,” assured Banda.
And the country really does have quite a bit to show: the legendary Victoria Falls are mainly located in Zambia, the famous Big 5 – every safari-goer’s dream – can all be found in Zambia, and Zambia’s most famous wildlife reserve, the South Luangwa National Park, was even recently declared the world’s first sustainably managed wildlife reserve by the UNWTO.
“If you don’t know Zambia,” said Banda confidently, “you don’t know Africa.”