Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has dismissed speculation that it has effected or is planning an upward review for access fees into the Victoria Falls rain forest.
This comes in the wake of speculation from some sections who were peddling the view that Zimparks would multiply the RTGS$7 fee with the prevailing interbank exchange rate following monetary authorities’ discarding of the “1:1” exchange rate in the 2019 Monetary Policy Statement.
The rumours, which were circulated widely among tourism industry players, had also suggested that the authority was seeking an upward review for foreign tourists from the current RTGS$30.
But in a statement to The Herald Business, Zimparks said the access fees remain unchanged.
“. . . would like to inform its valued clients, tourists and stakeholders that entry fees into the Victoria Falls rain forest will remain unchanged,” said the authority’s director general Fulton Mangwanya.
“Of course there has been some internal consultations on the issue but there is certainly no change. The decision to maintain the current fees was reached after considering the need to strengthen and support tourism promotion efforts. We are cognisant of the fact that Zimbabwe is a must visit destination because of our pristine wildlife as well as the flora and fauna, therefore it is imperative for us to price the product right.
“We at Zimparks believe we can contribute better to Government’s quest to grow the tourism sector and its contribution to the fiscus in general in line with Vision 2030 by growing the tourism cake through correct pricing thus widening our catchment area,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority is on record saying right pricing of local tourist products is one of the key strategies that can unlock value in the sector.
The Victoria Falls is the country’s biggest tourist attraction and Government and its agencies has been working on a coterie of interventions to make sure that the destination continues to play its leading role.