Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
PLAYERS in the tourism industry have predicted a brighter future for the sector on the back of increased air traffic spurred by upgrading of the country’s aviation infrastructure.
Zimbabwe Council for Tourism representative in Matabeleland North, Mrs Barbara Murasiranwa, said the coming in of Kenya Airways this week was an endorsement of Zimbabwe’s attractiveness. The airline joins other giants — Ethiopian and South African Airways — that recently started servicing the country’s route.
She commended the airline for linking some of the best attractions in Sub Saharan Africa saying this would increase the number of visitors to the respective countries.
Mrs Murasiranwa was among the delegates who witnessed the official launch of Kenya Airways’ new route at the Victoria Falls International Airport.
The airline will service the Nairobi to Victoria Falls route, which will also link Cape Town on a three-time weekly schedule.
“All this confirms that we are going to witness an increase in arrivals as a destination. Kenya is different from other traditional markets because this particular one has an eye for tourism,” said Mr Murasiranwa.
“If you check the airline will now be linking tourist attractions in Kenya with Victoria Falls and Cape Town, which is what tourists would want. Most of the airlines we had would go to Johannesburg, which is a business destination but now people are getting focused on tourism.”
The new look Victoria Falls International Airport is promising to be a game changer that has truly lived up to expectation as it continues to attract the attention of the aviation world.
KQ, as Kenyan Airways is called, will operate the route on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive officer Dr Karikoga Kaseke said the tourism industry was the biggest beneficiary of aviation developments in the country as more visitors will now trickle in.
“The tourism industry needs to make sure aviation isn’t let down. We need to deliver on the ground for tourism to grow. The ball is now in your hands, you need to join hands with Kenyan Airways and come up with robust strategies,” he said while challenging tourism players to work hard and complement the efforts of airlines.
Dr Kaseke said ZTA will continue marketing the country through exhibitions such as Kenya Travel and the Hlanganani/Sanganai Expo.