World Bank’s IFC partners Zimbabwe to increase air traffic into Vic Falls
Harare, June 7, 2021 (New Ziana) – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered the Zimbabwe government to support tourism recovery in Victoria Falls through attracting increased air traffic into the premier tourist destination.
A transport consultancy firm, CPCS Transcom Ltd, together with experts from Cape Town Air Access, a project of Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for South Africa’s Western Cape, will assist the government conduct data analysis and facilitate dialogue with airlines to recover and strengthen Victoria Falls’ position as a tourism and air transport hub for Zimbabwe and the region.
The project is part of a broader, multi-year tourism program between IFC and Zimbabwe called the Zimbabwe Destination Development Program (ZDDP), designed to revitalize and increase the competitiveness of the country’s tourism industry.
In a statement, the IFC said government’s prioritization of vaccinating tourism workers in Victoria Falls had put the destination in a privileged position for re-attracting airlines, tourists, and revenues.
“With the right support, Victoria Falls can become a truly competitive tourism entry point for the region. Establishing this position in the market will help drive tourism through Zimbabwe and support recovery and jobs,” said Adamou Labara, IFC’s country manager for Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Airports Company of Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Tawanda Gusha said; “The time is right to expand our network to ensure the destination can grow its position as a gateway to the country and the wider region. This is in line with our strategic thrust of developing Victoria Falls as a regional tourism hub.”
Victoria Falls, one of the eight natural wonders of the world, supports around 25 000 direct jobs.
“A strategic air service development effort is needed to drive recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and ensure longer-term growth for Victoria Falls as a regional hub,” said Transport and Infrastructural Development permanent secretary Theodius Chinyanga.
Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has borne the heaviest burdens of the pandemic, as estimates suggest that arrivals into the country dropped by up to 90 percent since its onset in March to October last year.