With the recent upgrade and expansion of the Victoria Falls International Airport, Victoria Falls is set to receive more visitors than ever. As a tourist to the area, the natural beauty of the falls will draw you in, however, it is the region’s potential for investment and development that will tempt you to stay.
While the area is known for its breath taking scenery, other attractions contribute to making it a beautiful place. Tourists are spoilt for choice between taking cruises down the Zambezi River and spotting game at the Hwange National Park. If you are more adventurous, you can get an adrenaline rush by bungee jumping at the falls or white water rafting on the Zambezi rapids. Add abseiling, gorge swinging, zip-lining, kayaking and canoeing to the list and you have a veritable buffet of activities to satisfy any adventurer’s soul.
With all these fun-filled activities available, it is easy to dismiss Victoria Falls as just another resort area. However, a deeper look will reveal numerous investment opportunities waiting for savvy investors.
Indeed, the Zimbabwean Government has long recognized the area’s potential to become a premier investment hub in Southern Africa and the larger continent. With this in mind, the government recently set up pilot special economic zones (SEZs) to revive investor interest and boost foreign direct investment. One of these SEZs is situated in Victoria Falls and is expected to allow investors greater access to local investments.
Some of the viable local investment opportunities in Victoria Falls include real estate, tourism, ICT, mining as well as the energy sector. Both residential and real estate properties in the region are at a premium now are ripe for investment. ICT is another area where investors can gain handsome rewards especially with the installation of fibre optics and the government’s plans to scale up telecommunication services and internet connectivity.
Making wise investments
Identifying opportunities for investment is one thing, exploiting them is another. Here are three top tips on how to successfully invest locally in Victoria Falls:
• Establish partnerships and joint ventures with existing investors. Potential investors can partner with companies already on the ground to establish mutually beneficial ventures. This way, the local communities also benefit from the investments.
• Engage the services of a lawyer for legal considerations. Local lawyer, Henner Diekmann says that it is important for tourists who want to invest in the area to secure the services of a lawyer who is well versed in the region’s laws. Zimbabwe has strict laws regulating investments by foreigners and an experienced lawyer can offer expert advice on how to navigate the tax laws, policies and regulations to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
• Take advantage of government incentives. Along with the SEZs, the government also offers incentives such as royalties and lower taxes to encourage investors to add value to the local region. These can go a long way towards improving the bottom line for companies that are just starting out.
Travellers who are looking for ways to invest in Victoria Falls will find plenty of opportunity to make high returns. As the town continues to develop, it is becoming increasingly clear that partnership between local and foreign investors is beneficial.