The resort town and nearby Livingstone in Zambia are set to co-host the 20th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly from 24th to 29th August 2013.
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said last week that the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development had already transferred 1 200 hectares of prime land from the Hwange District Council to build the new city.
“We are not going to interfere with the old Victorian setting, we will leave it intact. But going backwards towards the airport, 1 200 ha under the Hwange District Council has been transferred to us to create a new city,” Mzembi said.
He said the prime land would be used to create a new city in the mould of the Niagara Park in Canada, a US$30 billion economy. “The gap between the current Victoria Falls economy between Zambia and Zimbabwe which is no more than US$1,5 billion can go and escalate up to US$30 billion if we close the infrastructural gap.
This is the reason why we want to put up a new city in Victoria Falls,” Mzembi said.
The plan to build a new city in Victoria Falls also bodes well with the regional spatial plans recently approved by the UNWTO.
UNWTO said instead of developing tourism globally, Zimbabwe should have regional spatial plans revolving around certain areas.
“We are hoping that by the time we go for the general assembly we are able to launch three regional spatial plans: the Kariba one devolving around the Kariba Dam itself and its environs, the Masvingo one whose focal point would be the ancient city of Great Zimbabwe and Lake Mutirikwi and the Victoria Falls one,” Mzembi said.
Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe is expected to launch the Tourism Policy next month with a roadmap on how the industry operates.
By: NDAMU SANDU
Date: 11 April 2013