Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer Sikabilo Kalembwe says Zambia recorded a total of 956,332 international tourist arrivals in 2016 compared to 931,782 in 2015 – a marginal increase of 2.6 per cent.

However the ministry noted that out of the 58 million international tourists who visited Africa, Zambia received a paltry 1.6 per cent.

Kalembwe said in a statement released today that in 2016, 53 per cent of the tourists traveled for business purposes while 26 per cent came for leisure or holiday.

“Business travelers increased by 2.3 per cent, conference visitors increased by 2.2 per cent and the ‘Other’ category by 4.4 per cent, said Kalembwe. “Study as a purpose of visit posted a significant decline by 30.9 per cent while VFR visitors declined by 1.8 per cent.”

Kalembwe said 744,543 tourists or 77.9 per cent of total international tourist arrivals were from within Africa, followed by Europe, which contributed 88,333 tourists representing 9.2 per cent.

“Americas contributed 48,247 accounting for 5 per cent of the total arrivals. Asia contributed 7 per cent and Australia contributed 0.9 per cent to the total arrivals,” he said.

He said South Luangwa National Park received the most wildlife visit with the majority of tourist targeting the Victoria Falls.

“The total number of tourist visits to the five major national parks was 107,464, recording an increase of 5.4 per cent compared to 2015 which recorded 101,972 visitors. South Luangwa National Park had the highest number of tourists at 46,510 while Kafue National Park recorded the least tourists at 11,347.”

“The Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and Zambia’s flagship tourism products, recorded 167,710 tourist visits in 2016 compared to 141,929 visitors in 2015, representing an increase of 18.2 per cent. International tourists increased from 29,575 in 2015 to 51,450 in 2016 resulting in an increase of 74 per cent while domestic tourists increased from 112,354 in 2015 to 116,260 in 2016 representing an increase of 3.5 per cent.”