Vic-Falls festive season hotel bookings subdued

By ZBC Reporter

WITH less than three weeks before the Christmas holiday, Zimbabwe’s tourism capital Victoria Falls is facing subdued bookings, amid proposals for hoteliers to secure last minute deals in order to increase room occupancy during the festive period.

The country premier tourist destination traditionally usually  registers over 90% hotel occupancy for the festive holidays  but 2020 seems to be proving otherwise.

While there might be no Christmas cheer for Victoria Falls hoteliers, other local destinations such as Kariba and Nyanga are reportedly fully booked for the festive season.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Regional Manager Tsikadzashe Mberi highlighted that last minute deals for domestic tourists might help boost bookings.

“On a normal year between Christmas and New Year we average around 94% but now our bookings stand at 42% which is a huge drop. As we were discussing we challenged ourselves to try and get some last-minute hot deals which can attract the domestic travellers,” said Mberi. 

The reopening of the Kazungula Border post which has of late emerged as a busy port of entry has brought hope to the Victoria Falls tourism industry.

Customs Services Director Mr Stephen Mafarachisi highlighted that given the significance of the border to tourism, sprucing up of the border should be prioritized.

“This is a border that serves a lot of tourists that come into the country and for that reason, there has to be a smooth flow of traffic at that border. We are lucky that we have weathered the pandemic and regional as well as international tourists will feel safe to visit our destination.

With a few days left before the Christmas and new year holiday, observers say the Victoria Falls tourism industry has one dilemma to solve and that is whether to have many unoccupied rooms for the last week of December or go for hot last-minute deals to attract domestic travellers.

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