Lusaka – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has awarded Zambia a “Safe Destination” stamp, meaning the country’s destinations are safe to visit despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
WTTC represents the global travel and tourism sector, which supports 330 million jobs (a tenth of all employees) and generates 10,3 percent of the world’s GDP.
Estimates by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development anticipate losses to the reach US$1,2 trillion, or 1,5% of global GDP, this year. It warned that the losses could rise to US$2,2 trillion (2,8% of global GDP) if large-scale restrictions on international tourism persist.
Zambia has not been spared the carnage.
The country suffered US$90 million in wildlife revenue losses and shed over 7,070 jobs in the first half of 2020.
But there have been silver linings.
Last week, two bush camps in South Luangwa National Park in eastern Zambia were commended in the 2020 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2020.
Chamilandu Bush Camp was rated the second-best such facility in Africa and ninth in the world; while Bilimungwe Bush Camp was ranked tenth in Africa and 40th globally.
The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and among the most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the travel industry and are run by Conde Nast, which operates from London and New York.
“Our 33rd Readers’ Choice Awards represent the first time that the voters, made their choices when almost no one was traveling. So, the names in this year’s edition are the ones that brought comfort, that voters still connected with long afterward,” Conde Nast said.