Harare – Tourism group Tourvest says its newest venture, a luxury tented camp in its concession in the Victoria Falls National Park costing “just over $1 million” to develop, has already been fully occupied on several days since its opening on July 6 this year.
Gary Elmes, the chief executive of Tourvest Products, said that although comparatively few tourists were going further into Zimbabwe at this stage, he was investigating opportunities for possible new developments in the country. Pointing out that Victoria Falls had been “like a separate enclave” from the rest of Zimbabwe as far as tourism was concerned, he said instability over the last decade had deterred many leisure travelers from going to other parts of the country.
However there has been a remarkable change over the last few months. Industry operators are reporting a 50 percent increase in the number of foreign tourists, mostly from Asia, the UK and US, visiting Victoria Falls in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year. Elmes said high air fares to Victoria Falls from South Africa were a deterrent but added numbers could pick up with the recent introduction of a low-cost airline on the route.
The company’s new Elephant Camp, with a low ecological impact, is in a concession awarded to Wild Horizons Zimbabwe – a division of Tourvest Products – for 10 years. Wild Horizons wildlife sanctuary, established as a trust fund to benefit a number of conservation projects, had helped to translocate zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and impala on to the concession which, Elmes said, had been “heavily impacted by poachers”. He said other animals on the concession included buffalo, kudu, waterbuck and warthog.
Source: New tourism venture opened in Vic Falls (24/07/10)