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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Passenger volume at Vic Falls International Airport surges

Passengers volume at the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport surged by 25 percent during period January to August according to latest figures from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) with calls for the tourism industry to position themselves to benefit from the continued influx of tourists.
Dubbed ‘The Game Changer’ the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport which is a gateway to the majestic and legendary Victoria Falls continues to witness an influx of tourists.
Statistics from the domestic aviation body show that during the period under review, passenger volume at the airport stood at 264 525 compared to 211 379 during the same period in 2017.
The increase in passenger volume has raised hope that the country is on course to surpass the country’s 2018 tourists’ arrivals target of 2.5 million.
Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators president Mr Clement Mukwasi said the passenger volume is encouraging adding that operators should position themselves to benefit from influx of tourists.
“We are excited as an industry by the continued surge in passenger traffic at the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport. This obviously means more business for the operators and the clarion call is for all players to position themselves to meet the increased demand for services,” he said.
There are currently eight airlines serving the Victoria Falls route namely South African Airlink, Fastjet, Air Zimbabwe, South African Airways, British Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Namibia and Ethiopian Airways.
Meanwhile, a survey titled ‘Victoria Falls Gateway’ conducted by tourism group Africa Albida, shows that the Zimbabwean side of the majestic Victoria Falls recorded total visitor entries of 317 778 in 2017 which translates to 36 percent compared to those recorded in 2016.
The upgrading of the Victoria Falls International Airport resulted in its passenger handling capacity being increased from 500 000 to 1.5 million per annum.
Analysts say though the recent growth in tourists’ traffic is commendable, stakeholders need to double efforts to ensure that the assets is fully utilised to reach the 1.5 million passengers per annum.

Air transport connectivity boosts Vic Falls tourism

The number of tourists to Zimbabwe's premier resort centre, Victoria Falls, has risen by 21% to 150 000 in the first six months of this year due to improved air connectivity, a survey has shown.

Titled Victoria Falls Gateway, the survey conducted by tourism group Africa Albida shows that the number of tourists is expected to reach 605 000 by year-end compared to 520 000 achieved in 2017.

Since its $150 million upgrade last year, Victoria Falls International Airport is serviced by eight airlines — Air Zimbabwe, South African Airlink, fastjet, South African Airways, British Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Air Namibia and Kenya Airways.

Early this year, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority said the rising number of airlines and visitors could help the resort town grow into a regional tourism hub.

The findings of the Africa Albida survey show that Victoria Falls was the third most visited falls globally in 2017 with 500 000 visitors, after Niagara Falls (12 million) and Iguazu Falls (1,7 million), respectively.

The survey investigated tourist visits to Victoria Falls, Livingstone (Zambia), Chobe/Kasane (Botswana), and Hwange (Zimbabwe). Both the rainforest and falls in Victoria Falls remain Zimbabwe's top attractions.

"There was a further sharp increase in visitor numbers to the Zimbabwe side rainforest in 2018 of 26%, but foreign visitor number growth rose 28% vs local 15%. Hotel accommodation stays again grew less than the rainforest visits at 12,5% in 2018 first six months, again reflecting a boom in non-hotel stay on the Zimbabwe side," the report read.
Hotel room stays in the first half of the year totalled 106 183.

"The area is probably on a growth trajectory slightly below the 10% curve (a growth of 10% per annum over the next five years). However, the Zimbabwe side saw compound growth in arrivals exceeding 20% in the boom times of the 1990's for six consecutive years. It is possible that the Zimbabwean side is headed for growth similar to or exceeding the 15% line, which doubles visitor numbers under five years," the report further read.

The survey found that the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls recorded total visitor entries, both local and foreign, of 317 778 in 2017, a 36% increase on two years ago.

About 205 469 of the visitors were from overseas markets from 151 839 in 2016.

The United States was the biggest source of visitors to Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side, accounting for 73 803 visitors in 2017, followed by Germany (25 855), Australia (17 023), France (16 092) and Japan (31 702).

However, the findings also showed that Zimbabwe is the most expensive in the region due to the strength of the United States dollar.

A 2015 survey conducted by the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism in 2015 on 145 tourists in Victoria Falls found that 52% of the visitors were spending more than their budget due to higher costs.

Source: Air transport connectivity boosts Vic Falls tourism (02/10/18)

Vic Falls mall ahead of schedule

ZIMRE Property Investments' $13 million Sawanga Shopping Mall, which is currently under construction in Victoria Falls, is expected to be operational by December this year, ahead of the formerly proposed timeline. 

Providing above 5 000 square metres of lettable space, the mall consists of 23 shops of various sizes, banks, concept houses, food courts, restaurants, coffee shops, service station and curios shops. The mall has at present received expression of interests that exceed the space available. 

Zimre Property Investments board chairperson Jean Maguranyanga revealed that the mall could be completed a month before the scheduled timeline and the property company is already overwhelmed with enquiries from potential tenants of the yet to be completed shopping mall. "Letting of the shops is in progress and the expressions of interest received exceed the space available.

"The major tenants are expected to start trading in December ahead of the scheduled project completion date," said Ms Maguranyanga. 

The mall is one of Zimre's major projects as the company has also been converting Nicoz House Bulawayo from offices to student accommodation and could start taking occupants this October. 

Renovations started in January 2018 and the property will provide approximately 194 beds, a canteen and student amenities at the lower floors. These developments come at a time when the company slumped in profits and revenue as compared to the same period last year.

Profit for the year up to June dipped by 68 percent to $197 397 from $613 526 recorded in the prior comparable period whilst the company's revenue decreased by 41,3 percent to $1,5 million from last year's $2,6 million. 

Slowdown in the group's profitability is largely attributed to the refurbishments at Nicoz House in Bulawayo and construction of Sawanga Mall in Victoria Falls which evidently require massive capital injection.

Source: Vic Falls mall ahead of schedule (02/10/18) 

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Two white rhinos killed in Mosi-o-Tunya Park

TWO white rhinos were last week killed in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park in Livingstone.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife suspects the killing of the two rhinos was an inside job, as the radio-tagged animals were well-protected and were under surveillance.

“We strongly suspect that this was an inside job involving one of our officers,” said Sakabilo Kalembwe, who is Ministry of Tourism and Arts spokesperson.

According to Mr Kalembwe, the rhinos, a male named Lewis and a female named Sepo, were gunned down on Sunday night by poachers who went away with a horn from one of the animals 

Source: Two white rhinos killed in Mosi-o-Tunya Park (30/09/18)

More: Chinese Poachers kill Rhinos in Livingstone park (26/06/18)

German tourist trampled by elephant, Victoria Falls

A tourist was yesterday left for dead by a raging elephant after he tried to film the dangerous animal behind a Victoria Falls hotel.
A vendor, Anele Mpofu, said he witnessed the shocking incident that left the tourist, believed to be from Germany, badly injured at around 6pm.
He said the victim was with a group of tourists that were walking from Look Out Café near Kingdom Hotel.
“I heard a loud trumpet and breaking of trees. l alerted other vendors and we rushed to the bush,” Mpofu said.
“We found an elephant bull trampling the tourist while threatening to charge at us.
“It was a case of life or death and l took a catapult and a stone that l always carry in my sling bag for protection and hit a female elephant that was standing close to the victim.
“I hit it hard on the ear and a herd of about 12 elephants with three calves moved away.”
Mpofu said the injured tourist’s wife pleaded with them to save her husband’s life but was struggling to communicate in English.
He said one of his legs was badly injured and he could hardly speak.
The vendors tried to carry the injured tourist as they sought help.
Nqabile Nkomazana, a vendor, said they found a camera and cone of ice cream at the scene.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority ( Zimparks) spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the incident .
He urged tourists to avoid drawing close to wildlife at resorts saying it was very dangerous.
“This is the breeding season for elephants and they are very dangerous,” Farawo said.
“Last week on Wednesday, another 49-year-old German woman was attacked and killed by an elephant at Mana Pools while taking photos. Elephants are very sensitive and tourists must exercise extreme caution.”

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Construction of Grand Prix circuit in Vic Falls to go ahead

Harare - Construction of a multi-million dollar Grand Prix circuit in Victoria Falls will go ahead despite mafia organisations trying to derail the development, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive, Dr Karikoga Kaseke, has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the recently ended 11th edition of Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair in Bulawayo, Dr Kaseke said the benefits of such a facility were far reaching in shaping the tourism economy of Zimbabwe.
“The grand prix circuit will be a first in Africa after the one built in South Africa was closed. So why can’t we be proud to be the first country in Africa to have such a facility?
“Are we not going to be proud as Zimbabweans when we see world companies there and the Grand Prix will bring a minimum number of international media averaging around 9000 while spectators will be plus or minus 20 000. I will not forgo that and it has never happened in Africa,” Dr Kaseke said.
Besides the Grand Prix stadium, Dr Kaseke said, there was going to be a shopping mall that houses all the international brands.
“There is going to be a seven star 300 bedroom hotel which we will sell as a product and a vast shopping mall that will house all the Gucci’s of this world and international brands would be there,” Dr Kaseke said.
He said the Dubai based investor insisted that the noise from Grand Prix stadium would be contained so as not to disturb the nature.
“We are talking of somebody with loads of money. He’s a prince by virtue of being born to a king and he insisted the noise would be contained,” he said.
This comes in the wake of social media reports that the Grand Prix will be constructed inside the natural habitat and possibly disturb the wildlife.
“There are people in the industry working against the construction of this facility-mafia-style, including some from South Africa, but I can assure you it is going ahead. It has been approved by the highest office and there is going to be a ground breaking soon,” he said.
Dr Kaseke was also pleased that there were exciting times ahead in Zimbabwean tourism, including other major developments in Kariba.
He said an American investor was interested in constructing an amusement park in Binga which would equal or surpass Sun City in South Africa.
Sanganai/Hlanganani Expo is a business to business exposition that presents networking opportunities between the buyers, exhibitors and the travel trade. To date, 288 exhibitors and 21 countries have registered for participation.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Zimparks extends Vic Falls viewing time

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks), has extended cut off time to view the Victoria Falls from 7pm to 10pm and also introduced a coterie of activities as it moves to capitalise on the anticipated boom in tourism receipts.
The Victoria Falls also known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya is classified as one of the world’s seven natural wonders according the World Heritage Centre.
Victoria Falls is the country’s major tourist attraction accounting for the largest chunk for both the tourist receipts and arrivals.
The new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa has also targeted tourism as one of the major drivers upon which the country should build its economic revival after years of regression in the previous dispensation.
In response, Zimparks has come up with measures aimed at not only growing the arrivals, but also the elusive receipts that have been a worry for Government for some time.
“There are tourism products that we are now adding in Victoria Falls in an effort to generate more revenue,” Zimparks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo told The Herald.
“We have already introduced bush dinners at the Livingstone statue, we are also increasing the time for night viewing at the majestic Victoria Falls. People can now view the falls up to 10pm from 7pm which was in place previously. 
“We are also introducing night driving in Zambezi National Park which is in Victoria Falls. We have also introduced a picnic site on the Zambezi River.
“We are looking at introducing a massage spar for beauty therapy and are in the process of acquiring beauty therapy equipment and also hiring cosmetologists so that we can increase value for money around the Victoria Falls so that our tourist can have more activities to partake in.
Tourist arrivals in Zimbabwe and in Victoria Falls in particular have been on the rise since November last year thanks to President Mnangagwa’s rise to power that has brought with it good will and investment opportunities.
Hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy, said observations from the top 10 hotels in Victoria Falls show a 13 percent jump increase in hotel occupancy in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.
The destination has also benefited from the refurbished Victoria Falls International Airport, which was renovated to the tune of $150 million.
The development has seen airlines that fly into the resort town among them Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, South African Airways, Kenyan Airways and SA Airlink and Air Namibia either increasing their frequency or resorting to much bigger planes than the ones they used before renovations.

Mnangagwa offers Trump Victoria Falls golf course

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday disclosed that he dangled an offer of land in the picturesque Victoria Falls to United States President Donald Trump to build a golf course.

Mnangagwa, who is in the US for the United Nations General Assembly, revealed his offer to Trump at the Zimbabwe's Investors Forum held in New York yesterday.

Mnangagwa urged the American business community to support Zimbabwe's rebirth in areas such as agriculture, mining, infrastructural development, tourism, ICT among others.

Zimbabwe and the US have frosty relations dating back to the early 2000s where the later slapped the southern African nation with sanctions under Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera) for alleged human rights abuses under former President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe denies the alegations.

The US renewed the sanctions soon after the July 30 elections this year, saying that Zimbabwe had no 'culture of democracy.'

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe wanted an new era of relations with the US and pursue economic co-operation between the two countries, adding that he had wanted to meet Trump at the Davos conference held in Switzerland in January.

"When I was in Davos I met staffers from the Trump administration," Mnangagwa said.

"I had hoped to meet President Trump but I had to leave before he arrived, but I told his people that if President Trump wishes, I will offer him ground in Victoria Falls in the national park.

"We have wildlife national park in Victoria Falls, but I had offered President Trump ground to build a state-of-the-art golf course so that as he plays, he can be able to see the big five," he said amid cheers from delegates.

The President said his government was keen for investments in the form of joint ventures or infrastructure based on the build operate and transfer (BOT) model.

"My government is reforming the public sector to eliminate bureaucratic red tape, bureaucratic bottlenecks and enhance efficiency and responsiveness. We are resolved to make Zimbabwe an attractive and a safe investment destination where capital feels safe. In addition, I have committed that my administration will ensure policy clarity, consistency, transparency and predictability."

The government is working on the ease of doing business, he added, and wants to reduce the approval process from around six months currently to a week or less. This will also reduce cases of corruption where investors pay bribes to speed up the granting of licences.

This would include the setting up of a one-stop centre that will facilitate all clearances under one roof instead of sending investors from one ministry to the other.

Mnangagwa said his government will ensure that there is protection of investments.

"As part of our economic reform measures, we will continue to guarantee the protection of private property rights.

"Equally we will observe bilateral investor promotion and agreements. Let me assure you that all foreign investments will be safe in Zimbabwe and foreign investors are free to repatriate their proceeds in accordance with our laws."

Mnangagwa also met diasporans in the US and invited them to invest back home.

Source: Mnangagwa offers Trump Victoria Falls golf course (25/9/18)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Chinese firm seeks to build new state-of-the-art Victoria Falls Bridge

Chinese construction giant, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) has submitted a proposal to Government for the construction of a new state-of-the-art bridge in the resort town of Victoria Falls. The current Victoria Falls Border Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1905, is located at the junction of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

It is the only railway link between the two countries and the only corridor across the Zambezi River in the region. But of late it has been unable to meet the increasing traffic demand owing to limited capacity.

In its project proposal, CCCC said "the construction of Victoria Bridge will not only affectively improve capacity across the Zambezi River, facilitate passenger and cargo transportation in the surrounding areas and promote the development of regional tourism, but will also play a significant role in strengthening regional ties and promoting regional economic development."

CCCC was one of the Chinese companies that met with President Mnangagwa in China last week and expressed interest to invest in Zimbabwe.

CCCC Limited is a publicly-traded, multinational engineering and construction company primarily engaged in the design, construction and operation of infrastructure assets, including highways, bridges, tunnels, railways, subways, airports, and marine ports.

The company has come up with at least three models for the proposed bridge; namely, the "Wing Bridge", the "Flying Bird Bridge" and the "Rainbow Bridge".

The Wing Bridge is a single-tower composite Girder Cable-Stayed bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks.

The bridge length is 297m and width is 17,5 metres, and can be transformed into a four-lane bridge.

The Flying Bird Bridge is a twin towers Composite Girder Cable-stayed Bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks. The bridge length is 262m and width is 17,5m.
It also has capacity to be transformed into four-lane bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge is a Deck Arch Bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks.

The bridge length is 208m and width is 13,5m and can also be transformed into a four-lane bridge.

Source: Chinese firm seeks to build new state-of-the-art Victoria Falls Bridge (11/09/18)

Monday, 30 July 2018

Vic Falls’ $1.2 bn project takes shape

Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga has presided over the ground breaking ceremony of $1.2 billion worth of investment projects in Victoria Falls which are set to transform the resort destination as a competitive international tourist’s destination and spur earnings as well as tourists traffic.

The four-pronged investment to be implemented by Dubai headquartered firm, Feonirichi will see the construction of a grand prix circuit, a convention centre, a shopping mall and a state-of-the-art medical resort.

The investment, which has been accorded the national project status and is set to be afforded special tax incentives, marks the pioneering projects for the Victoria Falls special economic zone.

The project was mooted during the 2018 Arabian Travel Market and three months down the line, a ground breaking ceremony has been held to mark the commencement of the initiative.

Vice President Chiwenga said the mega project is set to position the resort town, which is currently enjoying record numbers as an attractive destination, ensures product diversification and unlocks the full potential of the tourism sector.

Feonirichi Group CEO, Mr Prince Adebayo said the firm is privileged to be afforded a chance to contribute to the growth of the local tourism industry and announced that the hospital will offer free services for expecting mothers and children below the age of 13.

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Prisca Mupfumira and the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, Ambassador Cain Mathema said the investment is a result of the Zimbabwe is open for business drive and expressed confidence that it will set the tone for more investments into the special economic zone.

All the projects are expected to commence soon after the finalisation of the environmental impact assessment.

The convention centre is expected to ensure that the country bids for major international events while the grand prix circuit is set result in hosting of major motor racing events.

The ground breaking ceremony was graced by government officials, captains of industry, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) officials, the tourism industry, traditional leaders and Victoria Falls residents.

Source:  Vic Falls’ $1.2 bn project takes shape (29/07/18)

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Zim tourism 'enjoying a rebound... tourists returning to majestic Victoria Falls'

After nearly two decades in the doldrums, Zimbabwe's tourism sector is enjoying a rebound, with visitors returning in droves to see the majestic Victoria Falls and explore unspoilt safari reserves.
The number of foreign visitors to Victoria Falls, the southern African country's flagship destination, jumped nearly 50% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2017, the tourism minister says.
Countrywide, arrivals rose by 15% to 554 417, according to treasury statistics.
Political and economic turmoil under longtime autocratic ruler Robert Mugabe had wrecked the sector, but authorities and tourism operators now believe the industry has a new lease of life.
Mugabe was ousted in November after a 37-year repressive rule during which tourists shunned the country, fearful of police demanding bribes, crumbling infrastructure and scarce fuel.
Cash was also in short supply from 2009, when hyperinflation forced Zimbabwe to abandon its own currency in favour of the US dollar.
"We were in a closed period for a long time," admitted Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira, speaking ahead of key elections on July 30. "We closed ourselves in, doors were locked."
Since Emmerson Mnangagwa took over as president from Mugabe in a de facto coup last year, "we are poised for growth", the minister told AFP.
"There are good vibes from the industry and from the international world - everybody is so positive," she said.
With Zimbabwe's economy still in tatters, an influx of tourists is expected to help bring in desperately needed revenue, with the sector already contributing around 10% to GDP.
"It's a key pillar to our economy and a low-hanging fruit - we just have to get our act together," Mupfumira said.
But visiting Zimbabwe is generally more expensive compared with neighbouring countries.
Good feeling
"It is not a cheap holiday," said Ilan Wiesenbacher, a restaurateur in Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River plunges over a gorge and raises a mist that can be seen more than 20km away.
"We have seen a steady rise in numbers," said Wiesenbacher, manager at the Three Monkeys restaurant. "There is a general good feeling around Zimbabwe and tourism."
Even in the traditional low season from January to March, craft beer brewer Jake Le Breton had more glasses to fill at his River Brewing Company bar in Victoria Falls.
"We have just come out of a quiet season... (but) it was a busy time with a higher number of tourists than we have seen in previous years," said Le Breton, adding that local hotels have been fully booked.
"The general sense in this country, especially from a tourist, is one of anticipation, one of excitement."
Lloyd Machaka, who operates Chikopokopo Flights helicopter tours over the Victoria Falls, has also seen more visitors from Malawi and the southern African region.
"Hopefully we will have more investors coming in to build more hotels, bigger hotels. We want more airlines coming here," said Machaka, standing by one of his helicopters.
'I feel very safe'
Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines now fly direct to Victoria Falls's smart new airport.
"I feel very safe, the people are welcoming. Getting the visa was really easy," said Canadian tourist Katelyn Pretzlaff.
French tourist Patrice Lehmann, who was visiting the Victoria Falls for the third time, said: "It's one of the most impressive things I have seen in my life."
Zimbabwe has also removed the notorious police roadblocks that had become a constant annoyance for motorists. Typically, drivers reluctantly paid bribes to evade long questioning over minor alleged offences.
"The issue of roadblocks - it was a disaster, a real problem," the minister admitted.
Authorities have launched an aggressive drive to "reassure the world that Zimbabwe is open for business, Zimbabwe is a safe, peaceful tourist destination," Mupfumira said.
Alongside "Vic Falls", the country's highlights include Lake Kariba, the vast game-filled national parks of Hwange and Mana Pools and the Eastern Highlands mountains.
Mnangagwa, a former ally of Mugabe, has vowed to hold a clean election next week as proof of the country's fresh start, but many critics say the same Zanu-PF party chiefs still call the shots.
Mnangagwa is the favourite to win, but any dispute or violence over a close result could spell a return to instability.

Friday, 20 July 2018

New look Victoria Falls airport attracts more airlines

VICTORIA Falls International Airport is overwhelmed by visitors, a development that has seen some airlines either increasing frequency or introducing bigger planes to meet demand.

The new look facility was commissioned two years ago following a $150 million refurbishment and now has capacity to handle wide bodied aircraft and 1,5 million passengers annually.

Airlines that use Victoria Falls Airport include Air Zimbabwe, Air Namibia, British Airways, Fastjet, Ethiopian Airways, Kenyan Airways, South African Airways and SA Airlink.

Inquiries by The Chronicle established that Ethiopian Airways and South African Airlink have been occasionally bringing bigger aircraft due to an increase in demand.

Airlink, which uses the 37-seater Embraer EJ135 plane, has on three occasions this month flown an 83-seater plane on its Cape Town-Victoria Falls route due to demand.

The Ethiopian Airways brought the new Boeing 737 series last week to relieve the Boeing 787 Dreamliner due to demand.

The two airlines started flying into Victoria Falls last year and have been consistent in their schedules.

Airlink flies six days a week except for Saturday connecting the two tourist destinations of Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Ethiopian Airlines flies four times a week between Addis Ababa-Victoria Falls-Gaborone-Addis Ababa on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Sources from both airlines, who preferred to remain anonymous because they are not authorised to speak to the media, said the bigger planes will be occasionally coming based on demand.

Air Namibia and Fastjet have also increased frequency into Victoria Falls.

Air Namibia, which used to fly three days, now flies five days a week on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday while Fastjet now flies twice daily between Harare and Victoria Falls for six days except for Saturday.

The airliner also flies between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg on Thursday and Sunday.

Victoria Falls Airport manager, Mr Ronnie Masawi, yesterday said the facility was overwhelmed with numbers as more people continue to trickle in.

He said the current hype is expected to prevail until the end of the year.

"We are right in the middle of the peak season in Victoria Falls and airlines are reporting a higher number of passengers that they are bringing to Victoria Falls and flying out on a daily basis.

"We expect this to continue up to the end of November," said Mr Masawi.

The Zimbabwe Council for Tourism early this year said the airport's capacity utilisation had risen from 21 to 26 percent while tourism players recorded a 20 percent boom in business owing to consistency by airlines in servicing the route.

Predictions by one of Zimbabwe's largest leisure groups Africa Albida Tourism last year showed that renewed interest by airlines to the new look facility would attract an additional 80 000 visitors annually.

Source: New look Victoria Falls airport attracts more airlines (19/07/18)