from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – THE lack of a hospitality training school in Victoria Falls, yet it is Zimbabwe’s tourism hub and one of the most prominent destinations globally, is perhaps the most thing amiss about the city.
Operators in the sector have bemoaned this is costly to their operations as they have to undertake in-house training of staff.
Some hotels would hire expert chefs from neghbouring South Africa to conduct training.
The other option has been to improvise but this is compromising the quality of service.
In some extreme cases, the employment of skilled personnel from outside Victoria Falls, and from outside Zimbabwe, to fill the skills gap has been a source of conflict among tourism operators and locals who raise concern of being overlooked.
All these challenges are set to be a thing of the past with the establishment of a historic international tourism training school.
Neighbouring countries, whose citizens will also have an opportunity to enrol, are also poised to benefit.
The Lupane State University (LSU) is to establish the training facility in Victoria Falls.
“We have acquired land from the Victoria Falls City Council,” Zwelithini Dlamini, LSU Director for Marketing and Public Relations, disclosed.
“Victoria Falls’ proximity will be one of our strengths as we will ride on the popularity of the city and its location at the border with Botswana, Namibia and Zambia to get international students,” he said.
Victoria Falls is over 266 kilometres northwest of Lupane, which is the administrative capital of the Matabeleland North where both towns are located.
LSU’s Victoria Falls campus will offer Hospitality and Tourism studies
and a range of related short courses.
The main campus in Lupane, 172 kilometres from the second city of Bulawayo, offers a degree in Hospitality and Tourism in its the Faculty of Commerce.
Dlamini said the opening of the facility in Victoria Falls will help anchor the economy of the country and improve livelihoods.
Construction is expected to commence within six months.
The cost of the exercise was not disclosed.
About 90 percent of Victoria Falls’ population of 109 660 is employed in the tourism industry and its value chain.
Most are casual workers.
– CAJ News