Zambia witnessed a surge in French tourist arrivals in 2014 by 27.37 (%) percent. In 2013 Zambia, recorded a total of 7,151 visitors from France while as at the end of 2014 the visitor numbers increased to 9,108. The increase has been attributed to the strategic marketing efforts by the Zambian Embassy in Paris working with the Zambia Tourism Board. The prospects for 2015 are already looking good. The Zambian Embassy in Paris recorded a 50% increase in the number of visitors who travelled to Zambia in the month of January 2015 as compared to the same month in 2014.

Though domestic tourism remains the most popular among the French taking up about 70% of the French tours, Africa receives the largest share of the outbound French tourists with North Africa getting the lion’s share. But in the past recent time French tourists are seeking for new destinations with a different offering and Zambia is becoming one of the top destinations on the list of French tourists. The French are targeting Zambia because of the peace and tranquility that the country continues to enjoy more than 50 years after getting independence from Britain. The other major factors pulling French tourists to Zambia include the famous Victoria Falls described as the ‘SMOKE THAT THUNDERS. The African safaris in the unspoiled wild boasting of 19 national parks with South Luangwa National Park been the favourite and receiving more wild safaris lovers. The pure, rich culture and tradition of Zambia is another kept secret that is drawing more French tourists to Zambia. Further, Zambia’s central location is another advantage in terms of connectivity.

With these good signs the Zambian Embassy in Paris in collaboration with Zambia Tourism Board seeks to further increase marketing and PR activities in France to make sure the French know what Zambia has to offer in terms of tourism. One initiative the Embassy will pursue this year is the ‘VISIT ZAMBIA CAMPAIGN 2016’ targeting the French. In this marketing effort, 2016 will be an exceptional year for the French tourists to visit Zambia. The Embassy in collaboration with Zambia Tourism Board will seek to work with the private sector on how best to promote this initiative.

France with a population over 65 million inhabitants (63 Million in metropolitan France, 2 Million in the overseas department) is a very attractive market. According to Mintel the research group based in the UK records that “the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2012 ranked France as the world’s fifth most important outbound tourism market by expenditure. The reasons for this are manifold and include the fact that many French people have a reasonably high level of disposable income, a generous holiday entitlement (often this is officially 25 days, although many employees are able to extend this to 40 days due to regulations surrounding the 35-hour working week) and the fact that there are 11 nationwide public holidays in France.

The value of the French outbound tourism market underlines a cultural shift that has gradually seen the number of French people travelling overseas increase. Mintel estimates that the volume of outbound travel in 2012 was around 24.6 million trips. Estimated expenditure was in excess of €29 billion. The French generally look for quality accommodation, food, excursions and other holiday-related experiences. As such, per-trip spending tends to be high”.

Issued by: Percy Mabvuto Ngwira (Mr.)

First Secretary – Tourism / Zambia’s Liaison Officer to UNWTO

Paris, France

Tel: +33 – 56881270 Email: [email protected]