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Monday, June 5, 2023

Victoria Falls – 2022 in retrospect

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

The year 2022 saw Victoria Falls reasserting its place as Zimbabwe’s prime tourist destination after hosting a number of international events.

After three years of various levels of lockdowns, 2022 saw the easing of most COVID-19 containment measures in Zimbabwe and across the globe.

For the tourism sector, this triggered a resumption of long-curtailed activities which would breathe much-needed life into resort cities such as Victoria Falls.

In the current festive season alone, tour operators and hoteliers have recorded over 70 per cent occupancy rates and bookings.

In the year under review, the resort city scored big aviation-wise, with a total of eight flights now servicing the Victoria Falls route.

Eurowings Discover, which is part of the Lufthansa Group, became the first intercontinental airline ever to offer direct flights from Frankfurt to Victoria Falls.

South African Airways and Airlink re-launched flights on the Victoria Falls route, while Fastjet opened new routes between Maun, Mpumalanga and the resort city.

This has turned out to be a huge endorsement of Destination Zimbabwe, as the country targets a US$5 billion tourism industry by 2025.

Sports tourism also received a major boost with the hosting of the World Boxing Council (WBC) All Africa Officials Training and Grading Workshop as well as the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) Convention and Boxing tournament which saw Champion Monalisa Sibanda successfully defending her title on home soil.

The year 2022 also saw the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange celebrating its first anniversary with a  spring in its step after the listing of three counters in 2022 alone, an indication that the bourse is living up to its billing as an attractive offshore financial services centre in Zimbabwe.

The listed counters are Simbisa Holdings, Karo Mining Holdings and Nedbank Group Depository Receipts.

The city was also graced by the presence of former and sitting heads of state.

Botswana President, Dr Eric Mokgweetsi Masisi visited Victoria Falls in February for the Zimbabwe – Botswana Bi-National Commission while former Malawi President, Dr Joyce Banda was in Victoria Falls in May.

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