TOURISM and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi says government is in negotiations for a $460 million facility for the development of a ‘Disneyland in Africa’.
The project involves the establishment of a tourism and conference theme park in the resort town of Victoria Falls seen as crucial to boosting tourism. It would be built on 300 hectares of land near the airport and have shopping malls, banks and exhibition and entertainment facilities such as casinos.
“There is a lot of international interest and (an investor in the) United States is willing to pour $460 million for the project but we have to develop a template on a win-win situation,” Mzembi told journalists in Victoria Falls recently.
“Most international countries are saying ‘give us land and we will develop it’.”
The theme park would also boost the resort town’s capacity to host major conferences and events to rival South Africa’s Cape Town and Durban, he said.
“My vision is to zone the 300ha where we can have an Egyptian city or Russian city within the park,” said Mzembi.
In 2013, the government started refurbishing the Victoria Falls International Airport at a cost of $150 million to increase its passenger handling capacity which is expected to be commissioned later this year.
The expansion work, which is being carried out by China Jiangsu and funded by China Exim Bank, also includes upgrading the domestic terminal building, constructing a new fire station, control tower and installation of state –of–the art aviation equipment.