from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – LOCAL and international tourists will from next year fork out more to access the Victoria Falls rainforest, much to the disappointment of stakeholders.
From January 1, entry through the ordinary gate will be US$10 per person for locals.
Tourists from the Southern African Development (SADC) regional bloc will be charged $30 while international visitors will be required to pay $50.
The current fees are $20 and $30 for SADC and international clients respectively.
Entering through the VIP gate will now be $30 for locals, $75 for SADC clients and $150 for international clients.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) announced the incoming tariffs.
A moonlight tour of the rainforest has been pegged at $15 per person for locals, $70 for SADC clients and $100 for international tourists.
Locals will be charged $5 to visit the Zambezi River while SADC clients will pay $12 and international ones charged $15.
Children fees are pegged at half the adult rates.
Tourism and hospitality operators are however concerned that the fees increase came without consultation of the industry.
“We are going to engage Zimparks and the parent Ministry which we both belong to so that we find a way forward,” said Wengayi Nhau, Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe president.
“Already quotations had been sent out and what this means is that we have to ask for more from clients who will not take it likely,” the official said.
The industry fears Victoria Falls might suffer huge cancellations as a result since operators had already sent out 2023 rates minus the new Zimparks fees.
Some clients had already bought packages through international agents.
The Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe is also engaging Zimparks as hotels and lodges owners feel shortchanged, said its president Farai Chimba.
Victoria Falls has always been seen as an expensive destination compared to other tourism resorts in the region.
– CAJ News