Vic Falls is ours, not yours: Zim tells SA

SOUTH Africa must stop advertising Victoria Falls as its own destination, as Zimbabwe is losing out in terms of tourism revenues, deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Ray Ndhlukula, has said.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Speaking at an All Stakeholders Zimbabwe Image Management workshop in Harare yesterday, Ndhlukula said it was disturbing that tourists were now flying in and out of Zimbabwe on the same day.

“Do you know South Africa advertises Victoria Falls as if it belongs to South Africa? That is what they do. A lot of people (tourists) get the impression that Victoria Falls is part of South Africa. So, for example, they get to the Victoria Falls at 10am, view the falls, they have lunch there and then at 4pm, they are flying out,” he said.

“There are some people, who have asked if Victoria Falls is in South Africa, but South Africans do not tell them it is in Zimbabwe, which is very unfair for us. It is an issue we need to discuss with South Africa. Now, that we have got a bilateral agreement, they must stop advertising Victoria Falls as theirs.”

The workshop was aimed at improving the Zimbabwean brand.

Victoria Falls is the country’s premier tourist destination and has the second highest tourist occupancy rate after Harare.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority first quarter report shows that Victoria Falls had an occupancy rate of 35% from 450 572 tourists, who visited the country during that period.

The threat of neighbouring countries, mainly, South Africa and Zambia, was seen when occupancy levels declined by 2% from the first quarter of 2015.

Zimbabwe Council of Tourism (ZCT) president, Francis Ngwenya said “something” needed to be done, as the competition from neighbouring countries had become a major challenge facing the tourism sector.

“The reason why South Africa started marketing the country as theirs was because during the 2008/9 crisis, Zimbabwe could only market the country with South Africa and Zambia. This led to our brand (Zimbabwe) being overtaken. So something needs to be done,” he said.


Ngwenya said the country had to use Zambia and South Africa because of the negative perception that came from the 2008/9 period.

An analyst said that from his previous experience, the only way to market Victoria Falls and stop other countries from elbowing out Zimbabwe was to offer a very attractive package that would lure tourists to explore the country beyond Victoria Falls.

In 2015, ZCT polled 145 tourists staying at Victoria Falls, and discovered 74% to be using international agents in making their trip, with only 10% preferring local agents. The average budget for tourists was $1 900 per visit.

However, ZCT found that 52% of them underestimated the costs and ended up spending more than their budget.

The average stay for a tourist is two to three nights.

16 Comments

  1. please ask Mr Karikoga Kaseke for a sobber view on this one. u interviewed the wrong people

  2. Dr Ndlukula, how can South Africa not take advantage of a business opportunity handed to them on a silver platter by totally incompetent bafoons in the tourism promotion organisation??? Our we so daft in Zimbabwe to think that an idiot like Kaseke is capable? Only in the eyes of Zanu PF where ability does not count, but simply Zanu PF membership and back side licking!!!

    Dr Ndlukula et al please carry out a deep introspection of your government;s ways of appointing people to positions of authority and ways of doing business!!!

    You reap what you saw!!!!!

  3. yeah we all know what the problem is. has nothing to do with south africa.

  4. This is nothing new. I discussed this issue with my friends after I first found out nearly 10 years ago. We even brainstormed on how to promote Vic Falls as a tourist destination and what we would do if we were tourism ministers. Am mentioning this to show u that this has been ignored for a long time coz as it is, ZANU (PF) is busy looting and fighting, they have no time for the image of Zim or how to make it prosperous. We have lots of wonderful tourist destinations which have been neglected for so long it makes u wonder about the sanity of our so-called leaders. This hurts me so much

  5. Just for information purposes, commercial flights into Vic Falls land around midday and return to JHB an hour later and there are hardly any meaningful charter flights to talk about from JHB. How then is it possible that they visit the falls and go back the same day!! Same with Livingstone airport. Sometimes people make comments that are uninformed as in this case.

  6. This guy is such an idiot!! Even if they are visiting for less than a day, the tourists are spending money in Zimbabwe ( in the form of entry charges, food, souvenirs, etc) isnt it? You should actually be thankful that south african agencies that are bringing in these tourists because by now, Victoria Falls would have disappeared from the tourists map! If you want tourists to visit victoria falls as part of a wider tour involving other places, then you should do what is supposed to be done-bring in economic stability and improve infrastructure in the country in general including roads leading to the tourist resorts, improve the general economic situation so that facilities are affordable to the average tourist, get rid of the hundreds of money-spinning police roadblocks on the country’s roads, etc, etc.

  7. You can not land on the same day and depart on the same day in either Vic Falls or Livingstone.Flight s land from 12:25 to 13:05 and return just after 45min of landing. So there are no flights after that.
    So someone should get his facts right.

  8. “There are some people, who have asked if Victoria Falls is in South Africa, but South Africans do not tell them it is in Zimbabwe, which is very unfair for us. It is an issue we need to discuss with South Africa. Now, that we have got a bilateral agreement, they must stop advertising Victoria Falls as theirs.”

    who are those tourist who arrive in a plane go through the immigration dept @ the airport and still think they are still in southafrica?? shame on you deputy permanent secretary

  9. Why not just advertise and market it same as South Africans are doing?

  10. The tourists probably can see it is wonderful site in a Banana republic hence they just spend a day and go
    The trouble everything is a the hands of a few who are brainless

  11. south africa has been doing for a long tym so we are not supposed to be surprised by these actions most of the tourists they dont know much about africa so if they are being given wrong information that is bad but zimbabwe should wake up in marketing its brands

  12. guys the problem here is ZTA does not have any sound marketing strategy to advertise zimbabwe. the voice of south africa is the one that is heard by the tourist.the pbm here is we are not advertising ourselves. let us develop a sound and good strategy to market our brand zimbabwe. let us stop complaining is we dont have a solution to our problem or else you are making unnecessary noise

  13. Sir,create a competitive package and put your house in order to lure the tourists!Simple!
    Mind you Zimbabwe is the most expensive tourist destination in SADC region and the on-going economic chaos also scare them away.That’s why tourists are preferring mostly to visit Zambia and South Africa.

    Stopping SA to advertise Vic Falls will not attract more tourists to Zimbabwe. Go nicodemusly to them and ask them how they are doing it and copy from them. Hapana chakaipa kukopa chakanaka!!

  14. That’s a speech told to fools who don’t know Zimbabwe. WELCOME TO VICTORIA FALLS. ZIMBABWE is the post/ sign erected at the entry to the FALLS. So where does RSA gets its portion in that far Northern end? Liswele okokukhuluma kuNews yini?

  15. Point of correction….Mr Ndhlukula wanted to say BEITBRIDGE not VICTORIA FALLS. Thanks for you to understand this human error.

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