Low business hits Victoria Falls

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A DROP in tourists arrival at the resort town of Victoria Falls has hit hard small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and cross-border traders.

NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Traditionally, the period between January and March is generally a low season for the tourism sector in Victoria Falls, negatively affecting sales for most businesses.

In an interview yesterday, Misheck Mpofu, the founder of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Market (Comesa) popularly known as Maplanka market in Victoria Falls said:

“We have been hit hard by low tourists’ arrivals in the town. As a result people have no money to spend on luxury goods and that is affecting our members. There is low business at this market. Because of the low arrivals in the resort town, some tour and adventure companies are unable to pay their workers,” he said.

However, Mpofu said the future was bright for SME’s and cross borders at the market.

“There are 500 traders here. This is the largest employer in town and the unavailability of tourists has led to the declining of the industry since most of the workers rely on tips then they can come and buy from them,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu, however, bemoaned exorbitant Zimbabwe Revenue Authority charges, high council rates and electricity bills which he said were making goods more expensive.

“Council charges higher rates in water and electricity charges and they are estimated charges,” he said.