Tourism operators go rustic to lure travellers

Chinhoyi Senator Prisca Mupfumira

PLAYERS in the hospitality industry have transitioned to rustic bush paradise designs as part of efforts to make the country the destination of choice among foreign tourists.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

A number of operators said they were transitioning to the rustic bush paradise designs in the midst of modern luxuries; a symbol of the harmonic existence that can be achieved between man and the natural environment.

Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira recently said she was happy with the developments as the tourist arrivals had risen from 10% in the last decade to above 80% this year.
“Victoria Falls is pumping,” Jonathan Hudson from Great Plains Conservation said.

“Zimbabwe, indeed in tourism, is open for business and it very positive. It is a site for destination and the airlines are busy. People need to book in advance because they are struggling to find a seat during this busy season. It’s very exciting surely, we have got some new developments and like Shearwater Explorers Village, we are moving from five star to a luxurious budget aspect and the product is amazing and also loved by our tourists.

“As Great Plains, we secured land in the Sapi area east of Mana Pools and will be building three-tented camps similar in style to Selinda Explorers at Okavango Delta in Botswana.

“In addition Great Plains will be building a luxury camp 20 minutes from Victoria Falls in the lower Zambezi National Park.”

Hudson said the construction will start in June at Mana Pools and July in Victoria Falls, but he could not disclose the budget.

Shearwater chairperson,9 Mike Davis said the commissioning of Explorers Village’s 60 campsite and 32 chalets at a cost of $4 million last week marked the beginning of their endeavor to spread their wings.

“We need to work together to take this country forward. We will be continuing with our growth and this is the first phase. Shearwater is happy to announce that it will be building lodges around Zimbabwe as one of its numerous expansion plans,” Davis said.

“Within the next four years we will invest $35 million towards this.”

Wild Horizons also opened Old Drift camp on May 1 with resplendent 14 double suites.