Fifa guests to stay at Vic Falls

THE Victoria Falls Hotel facilities have been approved by MATCH, a company appointed by Fifa for the 2010 World Cup, Zimsun chief executive Shingi Munyeza has said last week.

Fifa was willing to accommodate between 1 000 and 2 000 guests at Victoria Falls during the soccer showcase, adding that outside South Africa 2010 was just a “tourism event”.

Presently, Munyeza said, hotel occupancy at Victoria Falls had doubled to 44% while foreign arrivals had grown by 17,6%.

The number of visitors to the Zimbabwean side of the Falls has historically been higher than the Zambian side due to greater development of the visitor facilities (the Zimbabwean side has about 2 500 rooms compared to Zambia’s 700 rooms) and the fact that 95% of the best viewpoints are in Zimbabwe. However, the number of tourists visiting Zimbabwe began to decline in the early 2000s.  

Due to the appreciation of regional currencies to the US dollar, it is now cheaper to come to the Falls than to other regional tourist destinations.  

A standard room at the Elephant Hills goes for US$254 and US$274 at The Kingdom while a similar room at most hotels in South Africa goes for between R2 000-3 000 (US$327-$492).

Munyeza said the price was almost double in Zambia. Zimsun intended to grow its hotel rooms in the region to 4 000 rooms by 2010.  

He said the group had been contracted to manage 700 rooms in 2008, an additional 2 000 in 2009, and 1 500 in 2010.  

In addition to the regional thrust, the hotel group was planning an additional 832 rooms in Zimbabwe by 2010, with sites in Beitbridge, Nyanga, Mutare, Harare, Victoria Falls and Kariba under consideration.  

Post published in: Economy

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