1 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Vic Falls to Anchor Proposed Tourism Hub

Photo: 263Chat
Victoria Falls.

Johannesburg, South Africa — President Mnangagwa has directed Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira to lead the process in setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for tourism, a project that will see Hwange, Victoria Falls and Kariba transform into a hub of tourism on the entire continent.

Addressing tourism industry players from various countries at the end of Meetings Africa - a gathering that showcases Africa's diverse offering of tourism services and products - here yesterday, Minister Mupfumira said her ministry had already placed "expression of interest adverts" in local media and online platforms.

She said the entire Hwange-Victoria Falls-Kariba belt would be turned into a "virtual city", with world class artificial beaches, hotels and conference centres, among a host of other business opportunities.

Minister Mupfumira said the SEZ will have a bias towards conventional, medical and sporting tourism.

"The Special Economic Zone will come with benefits in the areas of taxation and special concessions," she said. "We invite investors to take advantage of this opportunity while it still lasts. It's a first-come-first-served or winner takes all."

Making presentations during the event that was hosted by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and saw tour operators and other industry players from various countries engaging the minister during a question-and-answer session, Minister Mupfumira said President Mnangagwa "did not mince his words" when briefing her on his expectations from the tourism sector.

"He has clearly said economics and trade cooperation would be his priority in Zimbabwe, rather than politics in order to catch up with the region.

"He has also stated that Zimbabwe was been lagging behind in many areas as a result of isolation for the past 18 years. Now we are saying to the world: 'Zimbabwe is now open for business'.

"And to do so, he said there is need 'to look at all the legislation that has been constraining business coming into Zimbabwe to improve the ease of doing business'.

"I, therefore, assumed this task willingly, given the political will to change the way things were being done and the enthusiasm and excitement that we were getting from all major source markets following the new political dispensation that saw Zimbabwe celebrate a peaceful transition."

Minister Mupfumira hailed South Africa for being with Zimbabwe through thick and thin, saying Government had acted in addressing issues affecting tourism cooperation between the two countries.

She emphasised that such issues were "of our own making".

"When I met my tourism team for a briefing, it became very clear that as a nation we have been anchored by rivals from this great nation, South Africa," she said.

"Despite the fact that we have not been performing very well since 2006 due to factors that were of our own doing, South Africa still remains as the key source market for Zim- babwe.

The reception was attending by various dignitaries, who included Deputy Ambassador to South Africa Ms Metani Chauke, Consular-General Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro and ZTA CEO Dr Karikoga Kaseke.

Meetings Africa, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from Monday, ended yesterday.

More on This

Victoria Falls International Airport Has the Capacity to Welcome More Airlines

Victoria Falls International Airport has significant capacity to welcome more flights, And the Civil Aviation Authority… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.