from OBERT SIAMILANDU in Kariba, Zimbabwe
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – THE Kariba Tourism and Business Indaba (KTBI) has urged investors to diversify their offering to attract more clientele to the resort town.
At its peak in the early 2000s, visitors would throng the border town to experience the heat, game viewing, casino, tiger tournament, fishing and spending nights in house boats as well as experiencing its rich historical and cultural heritage.
However, this market segment has sunk into oblivion due to a number of factors.
“Tourism in Kariba is the main economic activity, creating jobs and sustaining livelihoods for many households,” Cephas Shonhiwa, KTBI coordinator, said.
“We therefore need to support the sector in the region to not only realise its full potential, but to also grow through the diversification of tourism products. What we now need is for investors to inject resources so that an array of activities can be introduced.”
Shonhiwa said Kariba was a potential tourist hot spot but lacked a variety in terms of activities operators offered to attract more visitors.
“In Victoria Falls for example, there are plenty of activities hence local and international visitors flock there,” said the coordinator.
Kariba and Victoria Falls both border Zambia / Zimbabwe and their tourism offerings largely hinge on the Zambezi River.
“The region has everything that matters to make it a competitive tourism destination locally, regionally and internationally,” Shonhiwa said.
Basic elements such as tourism infrastructure and transport networks boost the destination’s competitive advantage.
“More importantly are its cultural attributes which in a number of respects are legendary,” said Shonhiwa.
Jacob Parichi, Kariba Quad Bike Adventures biking director, also described Kariba as a tourism magnet deserving diverse activities.
“On top of the activities that we have like quad-biking, boat cruises, game drives, parasailing, and fishing,” he noted.
“There is a need to add more activities. Visitors come to Kariba to experience what the destination offers and one of these things are its activities,” Parichi said.
Wengayi Nhau, Tourism Business Council president, said it is common knowledge that the competitiveness of a tourist destination is underpinned by comparative advantages which relate to inherent resource endowments such as climate, flora, fauna, scenery and other naturally endowed elements in that particular destination.
“l can safely say the Kariba Region is a complete package when it comes to the aforementioned elements,” Nhau said.
– CAJ News