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Domestic tourism declines


VICTORIA Falls Tourism operators have bemoaned the decrease in the number of domestic tourists visiting the resort town, particularly during this festive season, which is when they usually record the highest numbers of locals visiting the town.

Ruth Ngwenya
Own Correspondent

President of the Employers’ Association for the Tourism and Safari Operators, Clement Mukwasi, said up to this stage, the number of domestic and regional guests visiting the resort town has gone down compared to last year.

“Most hotels and lodges are fully booked right now, but number of domestic guests is low, as they contribute about five to 10%, while the remaining 90% is regional and international, with South Africa and Australia contributing the highest percentage,” he said.

“It is, however, difficult to calculate the actual statistics right now, as Zimbabweans have not adjusted to the norm of pre-booking for activities.

“We will be able to do final analysis after the festive season.”

Mukwasi said when locals visited the resort town they spent most of their money on food and drinks at small cafés not at fancy restaurants and activities like rafting and bungee jumping.

Most Zimbabweans complain that activities are expensive for them considering the country’s economic situation.

“Even when locals do go for activities, they rarely partake in rafting or bungee jumping,” he explained.

“They rather go for sunset cruise, tour of the south, game drive and crocodile farm tour, with a few going for helicopter flights.”

Mukwasi said most locals feared activities that took place where there are large volumes of water.

“The issue of prices also contributes to lesser number of locals taking part in these activities, but we believe every Zimbabwean has to experience Victoria Falls wonders, as much as foreigners do,” he said.

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