Tourism remains one of Zambia's least developed sectors, generating an estimated 2.5% of GDP in 2003, yet arguably holds the greatest potential. The praises of its national parks are sung elsewhere in the book, but here it's worth noting that Zambia's best camps command prices (and standards) to match their equivalents in Tanzania, Zimbabwe or Botswana. What's more, Zambia still has vast tracts of pristine wilderness, which is exactly what's needed for new safari destinations.
Zambia has the (arguable) benefit of a late-developing tourism industry, which should allow it to learn from the mistakes of others. Hopes for the development of tourism lie firmly with the private sector, and the government is happy for private investors to buy into the industry. Since the mid-1990s tourism has been expanding very steadily – which is by far the best way for a tourism industry to move if it is to stay on a sustainable basis – and increasingly there is a focus on the development that tourism can bring to local communities.