The Victoria Falls is the honeypot site for Livingstone in Zambia which needed a Destination Management Plan help it become a competition destination



During 2019, DFID’s Private Enterprise Programme in Zambia (PEPZ) was starting to work with the cultural sector in the city of Livingstone, located close to the world-renowned Victoria Falls. Livingstone has been branded as Zambia’s ‘tourism capital’ but it is in direct competition with the town of Victoria Falls, just across the Zambezi in Zimbabwe, and its tourism industry has been struggling for several years. 

PEPZ was looking at how the cultural sector could work more closely with tourism stakeholders and asked Acorn to facilitate two roundtable workshops to explore whether there was a common desire amongst stakeholders to work jointly. It was evident that there was a common will to define a vision and create an action plan to shape Livingstone’s future.

To provide a roadmap for Livingstone’s future development, Acorn was asked to produce a Destination Management Plan that would provide the strategic objectives and action plan needed to shape public and private sector stakeholders activities, and donor organisations in supporting the growth of sustainable tourism in Livingstone and create long-term socio-economic benefits. 

Our Approach

To ensure that the recommendations of the DMP would reflect the aspirations of the local communities and businesses, as well as the City Council and public sector institutions, we used placemaking principles to produce the strategic plan. 

The team spent a month in Livingstone to undertake extensive community and stakeholder engagement to establish what the local community and businesses felt was special about Livingstone, what worked, what didn’t work and what they wanted their town to be like in the future. We also collected a series of 200 professional photographs for Destination Livingstone to use in their marketing campaigns. 

We also travelled to meet the regional administration in Choma and national organisations in Lusaka to ensure the DMP would support the delivery of the regional and national strategic priorities, in particular the Zambia Tourism Master Plan.   

Using our experience and insights from the engagement process, we identified the key themes that would shape Livingstone’s Story and the narrative that underpins its future strategy, to ensure it could be successful and deliver the aspirations of its stakeholders. 

We then defined the multi-stakeholder governance structure to create a Destination Livingstone Board to take forward the delivery of the Destination Management Plan. 


At the heart of the DMP is Livingstone’s Story, the over-arching vision and our Mission Statement of how Livingstone wants to develop as a successful destination. It rests on six key themes, cross-cutting principles that underpin the Plan and shape how stakeholders need to behave to achieve their vision, as follows:

  • Theme 1: To connect and celebrate Livingstone as THE home of the Victoria Falls; 
  • Theme 2: Champion the Wonder of Our Nature;
  • Theme 3: Celebrate the Talent of Our People; 
  • Theme 4: Enable Unforgettable Adventures;
  • Theme 5: Proudly Share Our Stories;
  • Theme 6: Be the Hub and Host for Zambia and Beyond.

Flowing from these themes, the Priorities translate the vision into five areas to focus on, which dovetailed the Livingstone story and key principles with the strategic priorities of the national Zambia Tourism Master Plan. 

The DMP was completed by September 2019 and approved by both local stakeholders and regional and national administrations. Four months later the Destination Livingstone Board had been appointed with the remit to manage the delivery the DMP and its Action Plan. 


Public Transport Directions

“Thank you for all the hard work and expertise you put into the DMP over the past months. Despite all the challenges, Acorn produced a well-researched, well-argued, comprehensive and detailed roadmap to develop and market Livingstone’s tourism proposition, providing us with the best possible platform on which to move forward.” 

Alistair Newton, Chair, Destination Livingstone

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Destination Management Plan for Livingstone, Zambia


PEP Zambia, DFID,


PEP Zambia, DFID

This project contributes to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Acorn AwardsSDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and work 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries SDG10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 2020
  • Acorn AwardsSDG17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership SDG17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership 2020

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Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970