Zimbabwe to Once Again Enjoy 1999 Tourist Volumes?

Many are asking the question, is 2017 the year that sees tourism arrivals in Victoria Falls back at 1996/1999 volumes?


 Ross Kennedy, Chief Executive of Africa Albida Tourism, said room occupancies in Victoria Falls for the six months ended 30 June 2017 had increased by 25.4% over the same period in 2016.  This equates to close to 19,000 additional rooms sold over that period by ten hotels, which together have 1,125 rooms and measure arrivals monthly.

The same trend is also evident across the rest of the sector in Victoria Falls, representing a further 700 rooms.

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

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

According to Kennedy, new businesses are opening across the industry in the region, all of which combine to enhance the draw of the destination, a hub for Hwange, Matobo Hills, the rest of Zimbabwe and the KAZA (Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) region.  KAZA, made up of five Southern African countries, boasts some of the most pristine and diverse wildlife areas 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.

Kennedy said major South African based DMCs were reporting high demand for the region for 2018 and 2019.