Tourism in Zimbabwe and Zambia contributes to the two nation’s GDP. Zimbabwe heavily relies on tourism to boost the economy more than Zambia. Additionally, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Zambia Tourism Agency have been in collaboration. This is to market Victoria Falls and Kariba jointly. Specifically to recognise the shared tourism assets and borders between the two countries.
In the past couple of days authorities dealing with tourism in Zimbabwe and Zambia came to meet for a series of bilateral meetings. This was under the Joint Tourism Facilitation Committee (JTFC). The meeting was in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and a similar one will take place in Livingstone, Zambia. The JTFC is a fulfilment of tenets of the inter-ministerial engagements on the Victoria Falls. Zimbabweans and Zambians are in a constant debate on who owns the Victoria Falls. This debate is almost always raging on social media. Hopefully, this debate can be set aside and allow for development of both nations’ tourism sectors through the help of the JTFC.
The inter-ministerial meeting is an initiative led by Hon. Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu and his counterpart Hon. Rodney Sikuma. The meeting was chaired by the ZTA Chief Executive, Ms Winnie Muchanyuka and her Zambia Tourism Agency CEO, Mr Matongo Matamwandi. Also, these individuals are playing a key role to boost tourism in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
State of tourism in both countries
Moreso, with regards to tourism in Zimbabwe and Zambia, latest records for travel and tourism’s contribution to Zambia’s GDP is 7.3%. These records are from 2019. However, in comparison to Zambia, Zimbabwe’s tourism contribution to GDP was slightly lower in 2019. This is also the latest record for the nation. The contribution of tourism to the nation’s GDP has a record of 6.3%. Additionally, in Zimbabwe, tourism, along with agriculture and mining are the three major sectors that keep the economy going. With that in mind, any move to ramp up development for the country’s tourism sector is welcome.
This initiative comes after both nation’s tourism sectors’ disruption from COVID-19. Moreso, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a decline in tourist arrivals. There was reduced revenues and disruptions in the tourism sectors of both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Travel restrictions, reduced international travel demand and measures such as PCR testing and quarantine requirements have contributed to these impacts. The governments of both countries have been working to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the tourism industry and support affected communities. Therefore, the completion of this meeting has set precedence towards development of the sector and help beneficiaries.
Overall, both Zimbabwe and Zambia offer unique tourism experiences with their natural wonders, national parks, and cultural heritage. The collaboration between the tourism agencies of the two countries highlights the potential for joint marketing and the shared resources that can benefit both destinations.