Lusaka - Zambia’s wildlife sub-sector suffered losses amounting to US$90 million in the first half of 2020 as new coronavirus-induced lockdowns took their toll on the economy.
During the period under review, the tourism sector, overall, contributed 2,5 percent to the country’s GDP, and this figure could fall to one percent by the end of the year.
In his 2021 National Budget presentation to lawmakers, Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu said tourism shed 7,072 jobs this year.
“Tourism remains one of the key sectors in our efforts to diversify the economy and create jobs for our people. The sector, however, has been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to its over-reliance on foreign tourists,” he said
In an earlier address to legislators while opening the Fifth Session of the 12th National Assembly, President Edgar Lungu emphasised his government’s commitment to turn tourism around.
He challenged stakeholders to tap into the potential of local tourism under the new normal occasioned by COVID-19, saying there was need to come up with innovative ways to get public servants and other citizens to visit the country’s tourist locations.
“As a people, we will not give up. We will remain dedicated to overcoming our current difficulties. We will keep the faith and believe in our future. Together, we can do it, and we will do it,” he said to lawmakers.
President Lungu went on: “Dedication alone may not be enough. We also need resilience. We need to build resilience in all our systems; resilience in all our businesses; resilience in all sectors of our economy and, indeed, the resilience of our people.”