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Sunday 27 August 2017

Prince Harry takes Meghan Markle to Victoria Falls - but will he propose?

PRINCE Harry has sparked speculation he could propose to his girlfriend Meghan Markle as they visit the idyllic Victoria Falls to end their trip to Africa.

The couple have travelled to Livingstone in Zambia after they spent two weeks in Botswana and are finishing at the Victoria Falls, which are one of the seven ‘natural wonders’ of the world. 
Prince Harry, 32, and actress Meghan Markle flew to Botswana three weeks ago on her 36th birthday to enjoy seeing the wildlife and have taken a water safari on the Okavango Delta.
A local source said: “VIPs love to take helicopter tours of the falls. It’s one thing to experience them at ground level, but high up is where you really get to see how spectacular the view is and just how enormous it is.” 
The couple have recently celebrated their one year anniversary, and speculation is rife that this could be the perfect time for the prince to get down on one knee and pop the question. 
Security officers and government officials in Zambia have been ordered to be on 'high alert' for the royal couple. 
Africa is a place close to both Prince Harry and Prince William's hearts. 
The Duke of Cambridge proposed to Kate Middleton during a safari and the brothers spent time in Africa in the wake of their mother's death. 
Prince Harry become patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana in January. 

Monday 21 August 2017

Chaos as Zim bans flights

HUNDREDS of people were yesterday stranded after South Africa’s decision to ban Air Zimbabwe flights due to non-payment of permit fees invited a retaliation by Harare, which ground planes operated by the neighbouring country’s national carrier.

Passengers that were booked on South African Airways (SAA) flights out of Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls Airports failed to travel as scheduled.
Zimbabwe also grounded British Airways flights over the same issue.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority on Friday night grounded the Air Zimbabwe flights after the airlines failed to renew its foreign operators’ permit, together with other documents, which must be on board an aircraft at all times.
Yesterday morning, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) took similar action against SAA, catching travellers by surprise.
Transport minister Jorum Gumbo admitted Air Zimbabwe bosses had slept on duty and failed to renew the permit, but denied charges that Zimbabwe had retaliated.
“There is what is called operator’s licence, which is renewed periodically,” he said.
“So Air Zimbabwe had not renewed its licence and South Africa Airways had also not renewed its own licence.”
SAA said they could not operate Flight SA025 from Harare to Johannesburg at 7am and Flight SA022 , which was scheduled to depart at 10:45am from Johannesburg to Harare, had also been cancelled.
“Every effort will be made to assist all affected passengers and our recovery plans have been activated,” SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said.
“SAA is monitoring the situation and will provide updates on a regular basis and when there are developments.”
In Victoria Falls, passengers had to be shuttled to Zambia’s Livingston Airport where SAA planes were now landing and taking off following the standoff.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Transport minister Joe Maswanganyi will be meeting all aviation entities from the department to discuss the grounding of the Air Zimbabwe aircraft.
“As a result, the South African Civil Aviation Authority has instructed the operator not to take off until such time that there is full compliance with the applicable South African civil aviation regulations and the requisite international aviation standards as set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.”
Maswanganyi apologised for inconveniences that might have been caused to passengers, the department said.
“In the same vein, the minister emphasised that civil aviation safety and security is critical, and all licence and permit holders operating into and within the South African airspace need to comply with the applicable international standards, and the South African civil aviation regulations.”
The Friday flight was set to take off for Harare shortly after 6pm, but was cancelled before then.
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are in South Africa for a Sadc summit. Mugabe’s personal airplane, operated by Air Zimbabwe, is not believed to be affected by the cancellation.
DA shadow deputy minister of Finance, Alf Lees however, disagreed saying the grounding flights, between SAA and Air Zimbabwe, seemed to be due to the diplomatic impasse over the assault charges against Grace.
“Now, it seems that tensions between Zimbabwe and South Africa are mounting, leading to airlines being grounded.”
He called on Finance minister Malusi Gigaba to urgently address “these concerning incidents”.
“The silence from our government on the Grace Mugabe matter has been deafening,” he said.
“The reality is that the South African government has completely mishandled this situation, which is now affecting the operations of the national airline.”
A “red-alert” was issued by police in the event that Grace attempted to cross the SA border after she allegedly assaulted a 20-year-old model in a Sandton Hotel on Sunday.
Air Zimbabwe is operated by Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore. 

Thursday 17 August 2017

Vic Falls hotel occupancy 25pc up

HARARE - Hotel operators in Victoria Falls are reporting a better-than-expected half year profit and raising their earnings forecast for the year, helped by a boost in business travel following a recently commissioned $150 million international airport.

This comes after Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways in April introduced direct flights to Victoria Falls from Nairobi and Addis Ababa respectively, attracting increased air traffic.

South African Airways introduced its new Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route after the upgrading.

On the other hand, Rwandan Airlines, which introduced the Kigali-Harare direct flights in April and the Turkish Airlines have indicated that they might soon be flying into the newly-refurbished Victoria Falls International Airport.

Ross Kennedy, chief executive of Africa Albida Tourism — a leading Zimbabwean hospitality group — said room occupancies in Victoria Falls for the six months ended June 30 had seen an increase of 25,4 percent over the same period in 2016.

This equates to close to 19 000 additional rooms sold over that period by 10 hotels, which together have 1 125 rooms and measure arrivals monthly.

The feedback in Victoria Falls shows that this same trend is also evident across the rest of the sector, which represents a further 700 rooms.

The positive impact of these rising numbers on the local economy and the tourism sector is substantial, and very welcome after many difficult years, added Kennedy.

Key to the uplift in tourist arrivals is the new Victoria Falls Airport, which is already playing a major role in the tourist town, with the new airlines, new routes and increased flight capacity from existing carriers all adding to the growing momentum that is so clearly evident across the destination.

Margaret Kinsman, BAComair international sales and interline manager, said the airline is operating larger aircraft on the Joburg-Vic Falls route, and over the coming months will be offering double daily flights on several days of the week.

The BAComair daily schedule is operated by a B737-800 aircraft, which accommodates 162 passengers in a business and economy configuration. Between July and November 2017, three additional flights per week have been scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using a B737-400 which accommodates 150 passengers. The airline is also licensed to operate these three additional services per week year-round as required, should there be demand, added Kinsman.

South African Airways is operating an Airbus A330-200 with 222 seats, which is 88 seats more than their previous aircraft capacity.

In addition, Ethiopian Airways and Kenya Airways, link Victoria Falls to North and East Africa. Both airlines have their own hubs and networks for better connections and packaging.

Kenya Airways flies from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, creating a much-needed route linking the three iconic African destinations of Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro.

The latest arrivals into Victoria Falls Airport are SA Airlink, plying the Cape Town to Victoria Falls route six days a week, and Fastjet, which has now added Johannesburg to Victoria Falls three times a week to their schedule.

In the domestic air space, Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet are now both operating seven days a week, which has been a boost for domestic tourism.

According to Kennedy, new businesses are opening across the industry in the region,with new lodges, hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, and new activities, all of which combine to enhance the draw of the destination, which is a hub for Hwange, Matobo Hills, the rest of Zimbabwe and the KAZA (Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) region.

KAZA, which is made up of five southern African countries, boasts some of the most pristine and diverse wildlife areas left on the planet.

With both Kasane and Livingstone Airports also having been recently upgraded, the three airports can now handle three million passengers per year between them, and so make this hub, the power house of the KAZA region’s tourism growth.

According to Kennedy, forecasts for July to December 2017 show even more growth, with major South Africa-based DMCs reporting high demand for the region for 2018 and 2019.

Source: Vic Falls hotel occupancy 25pc up (16/08/17)

Saturday 12 August 2017

Victoria Falls applies for city status

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

THE Victoria Falls Municipality has applied to Government for city status. The local authority was conferred municipal status in 1999.

Upon joining Victoria Falls early this year, Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube told The Chronicle that his vision was among others, to reduce the municipality’s spending and transform the resort town into a world class city.

“Part of our priority projects is to help the town attain city status this year,” he said in a recent interview.

Yesterday Mr Dube told The Chronicle that the municipality had applied to Government and was waiting for the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to send a commission.

“We have applied and we are yet to get a response. The Ministry has to send a commission to assess if we meet requirements upon which a recommendation will be made,” said Mr Dube.

He said the municipality fares better than a number of local authorities in the country.
Mr Dube said the resort town boasts of an efficient and reliable water supply as well as provision of serviced land for housing projects.

“We believe we are one of the local authorities that have complied with Government requirements for city status. This is evidenced in that we have just been voted second runner up on water supply and sewer management at the just ended Local Government Investment Conference (LOGIC 2017) hosted by the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) in Harare,” said Mr Dube.

Hwange Local Board was the winner in the category as the two local authorities are implementing Water and Sanitation projects funded by the Industrial Development Bank of Zimbabwe.
Mr Dube said an advert flighted by the local authority on Thursday was in conformity with the application as they call on President Mugabe to exercise his powers in terms of Section 14 of the Urban Councils Act to establish Victoria Falls City.

Last month Victoria Falls commissioned 1 300 serviced high and medium housing stands in a partnership with CBZ and last week launched a $4 million low density project which will see a private developer, Integrated Construction Project, servicing 205 low density and commercial stands in the BB7 project.

As part of its master plan, the municipality will rehabilitate roads, install solar street lighting as well as come up with cost cutting strategies.

The town’s mayor, Councillor Sifiso Mpofu, last week invited industrialists to partner the local authority in developing multi-million dollar projects saying the town is embarking on a robust development drive which will help attain desired world class status. — @ncubeleon

Source: Victoria Falls applies for city status (12/08/17)

Friday 11 August 2017

NRZ gets $400m lifeline

The State Procurement Board (SPB) has awarded a $400 million tender for the revival of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to a consortium comprising Transnet and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group, throwing a lifeline to the parastatal seen as a key enabler to economic revival.At least 88 companies across the globe bid for the resuscitation of NRZ, including eight from Britain and 16 from South Africa. The Herald is reliably informed that companies as far as China, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates had also expressed interest in the deal.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo confirmed the development in an interview with The Herald.

“It is true,” he said. “I am really excited. The National Railways of Zimbabwe is a very important key performance enabler to our economy. If you look at the movement of coal, mining products, agricultural produce and even passengers, it plays a critical role.

“When it is functioning well, it results in the preservation of our roads. Haulage trucks were damaging roads.”

Dr Gumbo thanked Government for taking over the NRZ debt, saying it opened the gates for investors, who all along were interested in the parastatal, but were uncomfortable with its indebtedness.

“When I made a request to warehouse the NRZ debt and Government agreed, I was relieved,” he said. “We got 88 bidders from Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Britain. The interest was high.

“I am happy SPB awarded this tender to indigenous people. Zimbabweans who have come up with own funding. If Zimbabweans who are outside the country could work together and come home and make a contribution like this to our country, I marvel at such developments. It is very good news for the country. NRZ used to employ many people.”

The other companies that were shortlisted included China Civil Engineering, Sino Hydro, Crowe Horwath & Welsa Chartered, SHM Railway of Malaysia and Croyeaux Ltd.

But the SPB awarded the $400 million NRZ capitalisation tender to a consortium comprising Transnet and the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG).

DIDG executive chairman Mr Donavan Chimhandamba, who is also the co-chair of the DIDG/Transnet Consortium confirmed the development last night.

He said they had since received communication from NRZ. “We will commence with contract negotiations as early as next week,” said Mr Chimhandamba. “We hope that within the next two months all agreements will be concluded and we can immediately commence with the major works.”

Mr Chimhandamba said DIDG and Transnet were venturing into the project as an equal partnership.
NRZ requires at least $400m recapitalisation, which include the procurement of new locomotives and resuscitation of infrastructure to increase its annual traffic volumes.

DIDG is made up of Zimbabweans in the diaspora who have pooled their financial resources. The company is made up of various economic technocrats based mainly in South Africa and overseas.

Mr Chimhandamba said they had a strong dedicated team of experts, with all the members having been involved in entrepreneurship and starting up a number of successful companies.

He said they had experience working with local, regional and international financial institutions.

Source: NRZ gets $400m lifeline (10/08/17)

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Vic Falls pledges to service 2 000 residential stands by 2018

VICTORIA Falls Town Council has pledged to service 2 000 residential stands by 2018 to ease its housing backlog currently hovering around 15 000 units.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Town clerk, Ronnie Dube, made the commitment last Friday at the official handover of 120 stands for servicing by Integrated Construction Project.
“Victoria Falls is not exempt from effects of rural to urban migration that has seen its housing list soaring to 15 000,” he said.
“One of the goals of the Victoria Falls Municipality is to service and allocate 2 000 stands by 2018 and council is on the right track to achieve its goals. In this scheme, about 120 people have been allocated.”
Deputy mayor Noris Nyathi, said the new development complimented the government’s efforts to provide shelter for all.
“Victoria Falls Municipality continues to pursue its vision to be natural and competitive world class tourism destination and is providing affordable services to its community,” he said.
“I trust that the contractor will provide quality services, while maintaining the uniqueness and naturalness of the town.”
Residents have in the past accused council of not doing enough to reduce the housing backlog.
Last month, scores of Victoria Falls residents invaded a piece of land, and cleared it before allocating it to themselves arguing that it was allocated to them, in 2008 through co-operatives.
This was after the town entered into a $12 million partnership with CBZ Bank to service housing stands targeting low income earners.
They accused council of selling their land to CBZ.
However, CBZ officials told the residents during the commissioning of 1 300 stands that the land in the Mfelandawonye area had been returned to council.

Saturday 5 August 2017

Vic Falls town seeks partners for 10,000-seater stadium

Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls

VICTORIA Falls Municipality is looking for partners for the construction of a 10 000-seater multi-purpose stadium.

The local authority’s Mayor Sifiso Mpofu told industrialists attending the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) 2017 congress that the municipality had come up with a master plan which includes upgrading of facilities such as Chinotimba Stadium.

“Our master plan includes upgrading of facilities where we want to refurbish Chinotimba Stadium to have 10 000 seats,” said Mpofu.

Chinotimba Stadium hosts Division One soccer matches.

He said the multi-purpose stadium will house a soccer pitch, a triathlon track, discus, netball, volley ball, long and triple jump facilities.

The mayor said the local authority was looking for partners to build the facility on a build-operate and transfer arrangement.

This, he said, would see the resort town hosting international teams for their pre-season training and off-season practice as well as hosting international activities.

“The stadium would have change rooms, entrance (ticketing) and exit facilities as well as commercial facilities. We want this to be well branded with lighting, scoreboards, security fencing and walling as well as the caretaker’s house,” he said.

He also said the resort town’s local authority wants to court investors to further upgrade the disused swimming pool or build a new one to be able to host international events.

The old swimming pool is under refurbishment after being chosen under the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly legacy project concept.

The local authority also allocated land to Zimbabwe Cricket for construction of a 10 000 seater cricket stadium two years ago but the project has not taken off yet.

Source: 10 000-seater stadium: Vic-Falls seeks partners

Friday 4 August 2017

Vic Falls business gets boost from airport expansion

THE expansion of the Victoria Falls International Airport has seen global arrivals increasing by 25 percent in the first half of this year, but industry players say there is need for government to ensure air access to other tourist destinations across the country.

The $150 million Chinese-funded expansion of the Victoria Falls International Airport, completed late last year, has seen more international airlines introducing flights into the resort town.

These include Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.

South African Airways introduced bigger aircraft on the route.

Kenya Airways, which introduced its flights in May, flies three times a week between Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Cape Town, while Ethiopian Airlines, which came on board later, flies four times a week into Victoria Falls on a route that also includes Gaborone.

“Victoria Falls remains key for us but we are also worried by the numbers into the Eastern Highlands, into Kariba. Accessibility is still an issue. The only way to get to those destinations is by road and there is a lot of work that needs to be done on the state of our roads,” said Zimbabwe Council of Tourism president, Tich Hwingwiri.

Currently, many of the country’s other tourist attractions rely on local tourism for 95 percent of their business because of lack of air access, while Victoria Falls gets 50 percent of its business from international tourists.

The new flights into Victoria Falls have provided a boost to the tourism sector, according to Africa Albida Tourism whose flagship property is the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

“There is significantly good news for the industry and for the country. We are starting to feel the impetus of the airport. Already we have a huge number of passenger seats, it’s over a 100 000 airline seats committed to come for the rest of the year,” said Dave Glynn, Africa Albida Tourism chairman.

“During the first six months of the year, international arrivals were up by 25,4 percent, which is really significant,” he said.

The four kilometre runway at the airport can land any wide bodied aircraft.

Glynn said the impact of the airport would be felt even outside the country’s borders.

“Once those volumes start to really arrive it will justify the linkages of the airlines going out from Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls will become a significant hub airport because of its new facilities. That means it will service the region as well as internal Zimbabwe destinations,” Glynn said.

At the moment internal tourism is suffering from lack of air linkages and poor infrastructure.
“You can’t get to Hwange, you can’t get to Kariba. You can’t get to the eastern highlands by air. Those linkages we are sure will come as the volumes rise as the air access increase,” Glynn said.

“What is of interest is that the international visitors increased by 15 percent last year but it wasn’t visible because the local industry had really diminished quite substantially and the reasons given in a survey (commissioned by government) included roadblocks, shortage of cash and difficult economic conditions.

“But the outlook is very strong for Victoria Falls driven by the airport which is a really visionary investment and decision by government,” Glynn said.

The airport was refurbished at a cost of $150 million and has a handling capacity of 1,5 million passengers annually.

Source: Vic Falls business gets boost from airport expansion (03/8/17)

Thursday 3 August 2017

Communities can develop benefit from tourism products

Sydney Kawadza Senior Reporter, The Herald

In Rusape, St Theresa, in particular, Manicaland province, villagers talk of the Maninga Mountains – a range adding to the beautiful landscape occupying a unique place in the people’s hearts.

A part of Zimbabwe’s apocryphal tales, the Maninga Mountains’ rich history is pregnant with tales associated with the craftiness of the Maungwe people.

Various large caves make part of the Maninga range’s story as these ningas – caves running for kilometres and large enough to accommodate villagers, their livestock and food stocks for months.

These caves, believed to be bigger than the popular Chinhoyi Caves, were used in times of plenty to protect the yields. They acted as grain storage but also came in handy when the villagers hid in the caves from the marauding warriors who invaded these parts.

The ningas accommodated even the people’s livestock. Whether these stories are true or not, the caves are there and remain unexplored. No-one knows their true value, economically, both to the villagers and the tourism authorities in Zimbabwe.

The ningas, however, remain an interesting enigma. But how are these caves beneficial to the villagers? The Zimbabwe National Tourism Master Plan could be the answer.

The Master Plan seeks to identify potential tourism magnets to grow new tourist attractions in Zimbabwe. The plan has identified 11 Tourism Development Zones in Harare, Eastern Highlands, Chimanimani, Gonarezhou, Limpopo, Great Zimbabwe, Midlands, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Kariba and Mavhuradonha.

Those who know or have heard of the Maninga Mountains suggest that they fit squarely into the TDZ. The TDZ identifies potential product development opportunities.

These can generate small to medium investments and larger, more ambitious, projects to diversify the tourism product in Zimbabwe. The TDZ can also ensure the equitable spread of tourism benefits to communities.

The Mavhuradonha TDZ, however, has a potential to raise hopes for many rural communities that the tourism cake can be expanded for their benefit.

This TDZ area is a wilderness in northern Zimbabwe, which is part of the eastern side of the Zambezi Escarpment. The Master Plan states: “The terrain is extremely wild and rugged and the escarpments meet with Zimbabwe’s mineral rich Great Dyke Range.” Authorities believe “Mavhuradonha is one of Zimbabwe’s true wilderness.”

“The area is endowed with rich biodiversity with part of it designated as an Important Bird Area.” It houses the Tengenenge Arts Village with 2000 stone sculpture artists, basic accommodation, a wildlife farm and the Nyamaneche National Park. Mavhuradonha is believed to have a potential for a world class mini-tourism destination.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi, in his foreword to the Master Plan, states there is a vibrant, real and powerful tourism economy that can play a central role in helping Zimbabwe to flourish.

“My ministry sees tourism as one integrated economic system – making substantive social, economic and environmental contributions that are very necessary, structurally, to economic success, very responsive to the citizens of the nation and that can bring wealth creation across many sectors and communities,” he said.

Tourism, according to the Master Plan, has the potential to stimulate economic growth while creating crucial employment. The Master Plan also identifies tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation.

The sector has shown huge potential for growth rising from a $200 million economy in 2009 to the current $1 billion. Minister Mzembi believes there is need to re-define tourism while enhancing community participation and beneficiation of the industry.

“This sector needs serious re-definitions, its understanding of the international community, regional, even our community.

“There has always been one definition in a leisure way. That it is a sector reserved for those who are already privileged, the rich,” he said.

The Master Plan will work as a guide in product development and diversification, infrastructural and manpower development, community participation and preservation of our nature, culture and heritage.

Minister Mzembi, after his global campaign for the position of secretary general of the UNWTO, looks at domesticating his vision. Zimbabwean tourism, in the colonial era, took place in a constricted band along the Zambezi basin. These areas include Victoria Falls, Kariba, Mana Pools and other few select areas.

“We have identified new growth frontiers in all provinces in what needs to be done to grow the tourism cake,” he said. He said Zimbabwe had magnets, the major attractions, such as the Victoria Falls, as tourist destinations.

“We have taken an overall growth strategy, that of new frontiers in all provinces, anchored on geographical spread of these tourism nuggets or magnets,” he said. Minister Mzembi said people have been struggling to find the nexus between the tourism products and community beneficiation.
“So you will see an attempt to integrate these communities and their involvement in this plan,” he said. The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry has signposted a $5 billion tourism economy by the year 2020.

The call – Vision 5:5:15:2020 – looks towards a $5 billion tourism economy from five million arrivals, contributing 15 percent to gross domestic product by year 2020.

Minister Mzembi said among the identified 11 TDZs, the Victoria Falls has been designated a special economic zone, with enhanced features in terms of investment attractiveness.

“My vision is really to see that extension of SEZ status extended to all remaining 10 (tourism development zones) . . . (for) a democratic dispensation that ensures that there is tourism for all inclusively,” he said.

The re-definition, Minister Mzembi says, will go beyond its ledger definition to include historical, liberation tourism, religious tourism, culinary and cultural tourism.

“These are elements of tourism that you will not ordinarily see in the leisure definition,” he said. The launch of the Master Plan later this year coincides with the designation of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

“Going forward to 2030, as you will be aware, tourism is assigned to three Sustainable Development Goals.

“The first one, SDG No. 8 (is) on decent jobs and growth and if this plan cannot expose the jobs opportunities for the youths in alignment with our own vision at the African Union on harnessing the demographic dividend and investing in the youths, then it is not good enough.

“So I would like to see a link in terms of output between what has been designated as zones and how they are going to generate jobs going forward to 2030 in alignment with the SDG.”

The next SDG, No. 12 on sustainable consumption and production, Minister Mzembi said, is relevant to the extent that biodiversity constitutes 80 percent of the tourism product in Zimbabwe and Africa.

“The sustainable management of our flora and fauna is so imperative to the extent that we can sustain the product and attractions that bring in current international source markets into our destination.

“We have to drive a very strong message around sustainable management of our biodiversity if we are going to sustain the product going forward in the future,” he said.

The third goal, Minister Mzembi said, Goal No. 14, which is related to life under water.

“It was conceived mainly on the back of oceanic resources but I am sure you know that in Zimbabwe we now have huge and large water bodies like the Tokwe-Mukosi, Kariba Dam and others that characterize life under water,” he said.

The minister believes there is recreational and empowerment potential of Zimbabwe water bodies in fisheries and aquaculture products.

“It is in that context that you find us at the UNWTO celebrating at least one of the international tourism days with a theme on tourism.

“Water because; wherever there is water, there is tourism; wherever there is water, there is recreational potential and wherever there is water there is tourism.”

Minister Mzembi said the Master Plan speaks to the overall development thrust in the country as enunciated under Zim-Asset.

“You will find, for example, the vision for transport development and the development of transport infrastructure and networks.

“Actually speaking of what we call economic arteries in this book, where we say, roads must lead somewhere and they must lead where there is economic activity.”

He said Zimbabwe’s many hidden treasures are not known because they are not accessible.

“This plan attempts to speak to the future; to say, if we are going to know all these assets, they must be accessible and they must be a transport artery, an economic artery network that basically exposes them.”

At the global level, tourism is the third global export earner, after fuels and chemicals, foodstuffs including automobiles.

It also contributes 10 percent of GDP employing 300 million across the world while adding 30 percent to global service exports and seven percent to net exports.

In Zimbabwe tourism has grown from a $200 million economy in 2009 to the $1 billion that it is today.

“It means there is incremental and exponential growth but this is coming out of natural attractiveness of the destination plus branding,” Minister Mzembi said.

He said there was also need for investment and application of basic laws of diminishing returns.

Source: Communities can develop benefit from tourism products (02/08/17)

Tuesday 1 August 2017

New book on history of travel and tourism to the Victoria Falls now available to order online

We're pleased to announce the publication of 'Footsteps Through Time - a History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls' - now available to order in print edition from Amazon.

Exploring over 150 years of travel and tourism to the Victoria Falls, 'Footsteps Through Time' charts the evolution of a global tourism attraction. Discover the human heritage of this famous natural wonder and the people who have carved their names in its history - from the arrival of Dr David Livingstone in 1855, the coming of the railway and opening of the Victoria Falls Bridge fifty years later, to the development of international air travel and transformation into the modern tourism destination we know today.

This book is intended to support and expand on the author’s two previous books on the Falls, ‘Sun, Steel and Spray - A History of the Victoria Falls Bridge’ (first published 2011, revised second edition published 2016) and ‘Corridors Through Time - A History of the Victoria Falls Hotel’ (first published 2015), providing extensive background material and additional information to the story of the human history of the Victoria Falls.

Fully illustrated with over 100 archive images and photographs [First published 2017, 202 pages, 65,500 words].

'Footsteps Through Time - a History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls' is now available to order online through Amazon US or Amazon UK for delivery across North America, Europe and beyond.

See for more information and post-publication updates.

Also available:

Sun, Steel and Spray - a History of the Victoria Falls Bridge

Built in 1904-5 as part of the extension of the envisaged Cape-to-Cairo railway north into central Africa, the spanning of the Zambezi River pushed engineering knowledge and construction techniques of the time to new heights, literally, for at the time the Bridge was the highest of its kind over water. Fully revised and extended with many additional sections, this new edition of 'Sun, Steel and Spray' is full of interesting facts, entertaining stories and information detailing the rich history of this iconic structure. [First published 2011, second edition 2016. 158 pages, 45,000 words]

'Sun, Steel and Spray - a History of the Victoria Falls Bridge' is now available to order online through Amazon US or Amazon UK for delivery across Europe and beyond.

See for more information and post-publication updates.

Corridors Through Time - a History of the Victoria Falls Hotel

Established in 1904 The Victoria Falls Hotel has played a central role in the development of tourism to this great waterfall, offering rest and recuperation to travellers from across the world for over 100 years. Known affectionately as the 'Grand Old Lady of the Falls,' the Hotel has borne witness to changing times and fashions, growing from humble beginnings into luxury five-star elegance, through the age of the railway to the arrival of aviation, and from colonial administration to Independence and beyond. Fully illustrated with over 100 archive images. [First published 2015. 172 pages, 40,000 words]

'Corridors Through Time - a History of the Victoria Falls Hotel' is now available to order online through Amazon US or Amazon UK for delivery across Europe and beyond.

See for more information and post-publication updates.