7 February 2013

Zambia: Tourism Growth Hurdles Cited

A local think-tank has said the lack of development on tourist sites and review of various institutional and legal frameworks have impeded the tourism a contribution to Zambia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) has observed that Zambia's tourism potential remained largely untapped for broad-based wealth and economic diversification.

PMRC senior researcher Augustine Mkandawire said the tourism sector contribution to the GDP, earnings and employment generation had not achieved its target due to the lack of exploitation of the country's abundant natural resource assets.

"The variance between the planned and actual contribution to the GDP has continued to widen due to ineffective and unrealistic planning," he said.

Mr Mkandawire said the overall sectorial contribution to GDP had been very low and averaging 2.36 per cent compared to the potential the sector has.

He said the natural resource assets remained largely untapped due to inhibiting factors such as limited accessibility and poor management of supporting infrastructure of tourism sites.

Mr Mkandawire said the lack of update and multiple legal framework have also limited the sector's capacity to attain significant growth.

He called on the Government to reform the sector's legal and institutional framework as a starting point, saying this would accelerate tourism growth in the country.

Mr Mkandawire said the realisation of tourism development in Zambia required a critical revision of legal and institutional structure of the tourism sector and addressing other challenges experienced by the sector.

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