TRANSFORMATION of Victoria Falls to a modern tourist resort has started taking shape with the company formed to drive the process now seeking technical expertise to craft a tourism investment and development plan.
Victoria Falls is one of the three areas Government has already earmarked as Special Economic Zones.
The resort is Zimbabwe’s most eminent tourist attraction area.
Already, Government has spent $150 million towards modernizing and extending the destination’s international airport in anticipation of a tourism boom.
As such, the company is expected to play a pivotal role in the development of Victoria Falls into a special economic zone among other mandates.
Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company has since made a request for expressions of interest with a view to engage experts to develop the business plan.
The company, a Special Purpose Vehicle of the Ministry of Tourism Hospitality Industry, was set up to mobilise resources for the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2012.
According to Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company, the consultant will draw up a (TIDCP) marketing and competitiveness strategies, list of investment opportunities, projects and viability assessments.
Further, the plan will look at concepts for anchor projects, environment, culture and heritage preservation strategies, service infrastructure and land use concepts.
The consultant will also need to do a “summary of tourism development plan citing other countries experiences”, inception report, detailed work plan, training of staff, training report and technical report.
Government contends that modernising Victoria Falls will alter and add to the colonial legacy of infrastructure and stock of tourism facilities in the resort.
The focus of Mosi Oa Tunya Development Company’s focus would be guided by the National Tourism Master Plan, for organised and structured framework for sustainable development of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.
Government’s position regarding tourism stems from the fact that the sector is regarded as having potential to turn around the domestic economy.
“The sector offers great potential for creating employment opportunities, generating foreign currency, spreading wealth across the geographical sparse and poverty alleviation.
“The sector is losing out on potential revenue due to limited activity base and tired products and lowered destination competitiveness, which need revamp,” the company said.
Mosi Oa Tunya’s was appointed in May 2015 with the board being chaired by prominent business executive Ms Ruth Ncube who is deputised by Mr Innocent Gwisai, an architect based in South Africa.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority staffer Reason Machigere, tourism ministry director of policy and research Douglas Runyowa, University of Zimbabwe director physical planning (education), Diana Chimhanda and Arthur Musakwa, Parks and Wildlife Management Authority regional director, are also part the board of directors.
Other members include Ministry of Finance staffer Fidelis Ngorora, surveyor general Edwin Kuvaza, academic Dr Dzidziso Kamuriwo and Victoria Mugabe.