Tourism Victoria Falls growing

After a decade of low arrivals, Zimbabwe is seeing a certain growth in tourists to the country and the famous Victoria Falls is most certainly to benefit from that. The town experienced the highest number of visitors in several years in 2011 and it looks like 2012 is shaping up to be an even better year.

Obviously this town in land locked Zimbabwe has the potential to be a popular destination. Other than the spectacular Victoria Falls (one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World) it is also the adventure capital of Africa, continually offering new and exciting activities. Furthermore, it is situated in the centre of a number of world class national parks in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, meaning it is increasingly obvious that the tourist town is the ideal destination for travellers to pass through for a few days, before moving on to explore the surrounding areas.

Tourism in Victoria Falls started ailing because of the political situation in Zimbabwe. In power since the 1980’s over time president Robert Mugabe turned the country into a dictatorial state, bringing great turmoil -especially in the last ten years. The iron hand with which Mugabe ruthlessly governs is only favourable to his own supporters and not for the benefit of the nation. His rule has send the economy plunging and left the majority of the population living in great poverty. As a logical consequence of that all the last decade tourists stayed away.

Even though Zimbabwe nowadays is still a country in decay, the political situation somewhat stabilised. Travellers start to visit again, mainly to admire the true beauty of nature which the country still possesses. The increase in arrivals that industry players are now preparing for can be attributed to a number of positive factors.

Airport modernised

The Victoria Falls Airport is being modernised and enlarged and a number of international airlines are discussing possible flights into Zimbabwe and the town itself. This is in addition to the recent commencement of Emirates flights into Harare from Dubai, via Lusaka. South African Airways has also dramatically increased its capacity to Zimbabwe by 66%, while Air Namibia has launched a four-times a week schedule from Windhoek to Harare.

The town has become a serious destination for conferences. In May the African Travel Association (ATA) hosted their 37th world congress, which saw 500 delegates descend upon Victoria Falls. This is just the preview to what is expected in 2013, when the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly is hosted in both Victoria Falls and Livingstone, with an estimated 3000 delegates from 158 countries expected to attend.

New conference centre

The government is planning to build a new conference centre as preparation, which will not only go a long way in accommodating the few thousand delegates in 2013, but will also cement Victoria Falls’ reputation as a world-class conferencing destination.

The tourism sector, united in Go to Victoria Falls, is extremely excited about how it will impact arrivals into the town. Roddy Meiring, General Manager of Ilala Lodge says “It’s a unique opportunity which will further develop the town, once again proving that Zimbabwe is back on the map and a safe place to visit”.

Trish Mambinge, General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Shearwater Victoria Falls, added that “UNWTO means we shall see more arrivals next year, meaning we will take on more pax on our activities, gaining increased experience and revenue”.

More information on Victoria Falls can be found on the Go To Victoria Falls website


Laat wat van je horen