Victoria Falls gears up for Christmas with a focus on Local and Regional Travel
Christmas is coming and so are hundreds of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe’s premier holiday destination. After what has been gruelling year for the tourism industry and the town as a whole there is finally a buzz back in the air.
Hotels are reporting combined occupancy levels of around 80 per cent for Christmas and slightly lower occupancy for New Years with bookings still coming in.
“It is just great to see our staff back at work and the lights back on, it has been too long,” explains a hotelier who has recently opened his doors.
“Victoria Falls has a buzz back.”
With ongoing lockdowns in main source markets there are still relatively few foreign tourists in town, with most of the clientele being local and regional holiday makers. While this is far from the old normal, there have been some positives to come out of 2020, as Jamie Henson, manager at Shongwe Lookout Guest Lodge puts it;
“Zimbabweans have been amazingly supportive this year. We have all slashed our prices, allowing locals to take advantage of some great deals, and explore their own backyard. Many of our Zimbabwean guests were bringing their kids to see Victoria Falls for the first time. To me, that is very special.”
Is one of Victoria Falls’ new boutique Lodges.
Many local guests have been overwhelmed with what their own country has to offer in terms of accommodation, wildlife, scenery and tourism activities on offer.
“This is my first time to Victoria Falls since 1996,” said one resident from Harare.
“We had no idea how much there is to see and do, and that were such nice places to stay. We were in Durban last year for Christmas, but this is just so amazing.”
Despite all the challenges this year, hoteliers have learnt the importance of looking after the local market, and many Zimbabweans have discovered just how beautiful and wild the country is that they call home. That, at least, is something to really cheer about.
There are currently flights from Harare and Johannesburg on Fastjet
It seems that the Victoria Falls community have been able to weather the Covid storm so far and with a Vaccine in the pipe line the future looks bright for this vibrant destination.
Editor 5 VF24