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TOURISM POSTS 1.7% GROWTH

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes                                                    

THE tourism sector last year grew by 1.7 percent on the back of e-marketing platforms and trade.

According to the Annual Economic Report for 2018 prepared by the Ministry of Finance, tourism grew by 1.7 percent compared to 6.1 percent in 2017.

The report attributes the growth in the sector to increased e-marketing platforms, trade and e-visa services following the introduction of the on-line payments by the Department of Immigration.

Preliminary data, says the report, indicated that international tourist arrivals increased by 6.2 percent to 1,072,012 from 1,009,173 in 2017.

“During the period under review, tourist visits to the major national parks increased by 4.4 percent to 100,498 from 96,303 visitors in 2017. Visits to Kafue and South Luangwa national park s increased by 34.9 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively.

“Visits to Lusaka, Lower Zambezi and Mosi-oa-Tunya national parks were lower, relative to 2017,” says the report.

In 2018, the reports, the number of foreign visitors to major national parks increased by 13.9 percent to 66,076 from 57,751 in 2017.

The report indicates that the number of domestic tourists, however, dropped by 11.2 percent to 34,422 from 38,552.

Visits to the Victoria Falls increased by 33.3 percent to 199,508 in 2018 compared to 149,630 tourists in 2017. Visits by domestic tourists increased by 15.2 percent to 130,986 from 113,666 in 2017.

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