Zambia boasts of pristine national parks and game management areas, which are home to a great diversity of wildlife and flora. This, among other attractions, makes the country stand out as one of the prime tourism destinations in Africa, offering a wealth of natural tourism assets. These include spectacular water falls, lakes and rivers, wildlife protected areas (occupying about 31% of the country’s total land area) and an admirable tropical climate.
Zambia is home of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and UNESCO Heritage site. In addition, Zambia’s geographic position, scale and offerings in terms of landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna as well as cultural experiences, offers multiple Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) that any player can leverage on to thrive in the sector. There are 20 National Parks and 34 Game Management Areas (GMAs), totaling 23 million hectares of land devoted to spectacular wildlife, that provides immense opportunities for eco-tourism.
Zambia is also home to a diverse population, comprising 73 local dialects. The country also offers a rich array of traditional cultural festivities and events, held at different times of the year. These ceremonies are magnets to both local and international travelers who flock in numbers just to witness or participate in these splendid traditional festivals.
ii. Opportunities for Investment in the Hospitality Sector
The following opportunities are available for investment:
a. Holiday Resort Development through Private Public Partnership (PPP):
The Government is putting in place the necessary infrastructure such as roads, power supply, extension of airport runway, ICT infrastructure, water reticulation system, etc in the northern part of the country which has been earmarked to be developed into a world class tourism resort destination. The area is suitable for any kind of hospitality investment. Specifically, the following Sites located within Nsumbu National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika have been identified in the Kasaba Bay Integrated Development Plan (IDP):
• Mitongolo site – covers an approximate area of 60 Hectares;
• Chilanga site –covers an approximate area of 185 Hectares;
• Chitobo site – covers an approximate area of 85 Hactres
• Kapalwe site – covers an approximate area of 66 Hactres;
• Crocodile Bay site – covers an approximate area of 130 Hactres; and
• Muzinga Site – covers an approximate area of 80 Hectares.
b. Greater Livingstone City
Livingstone, Zambia’s tourist capital is located in the southern part of the country, where Government is further developing the city so that it can offer diversity of tourism sites and products. An Integrated Development Plan was developed and the following investment sites have been identified in Livingstone:
• Dambwa TAAP site -covering an approximate area of 1700 Hectres;
• ZAF Chalet TAAP Site – covers an approximate area of 45 Hectres;
• The Hubert Young Drive TAAP site – covers an approximate area of 5 Hectres;
• The Songwe Gorge TAAP sites – Northen and Southern sides of Songwe Gorge, covering approximate areas of 32 and 55 Hectres in extent respectively.
• The Zain Mast Site TAAP site – covers an approximate area of 215 Hectares within Livingstone.
• KatomboraTAAP Sites –Three sites covering 18.7 Hectares, 18 Hectares and 10 Hectares.
• Livingstone Hotel and conference center: Development of an ultra-modern multi-purpose conference facility.
c. Tourism Lodges, Tourism Camps and Tourism Bush Camps
Several tourism sites are available for investment in Kafue, Mosi-oa-tunya, North Luangwa and Nsumbu National Parks.
The excellent investment opportunities in hotel development are evidenced in the substantial number of operators already established in the country. The majority of visitors who come to Zambia travel for business purposes, which presents good investment opportunities in this sector.
e. Other Projects
• Re-development of the Mulungushi International Conference Center;
• Re-development of the Zambia International Trade Fair Grounds and Mukuba Hotel.
Investors in the tourism sector are entitled to the following general incentives:
1) Zero Rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) on tour packages throughout Zambia;
2) Zero Rate on other tourist services provided to foreign tourists and visitors other than those included in tour packages;
3) Refund of VAT for non – resident tourists and visitors on selected goods;
4) No import VAT on all goods temporarily imported into the country by foreign tourists;
5) Capital allowances at 50% of the cost of plant and machinery;
6) Investment allowance at 10% of the cost of an extension to a hotel (being an industrial building);
7) 5% wear and tear allowance to an extension to a hotel (being an industrial building);
8) No customs duty on helicopters and micro-lights for use in the tourism sector.