Zimbabwe, Zambia challenged on Victoria Falls

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After months of experiencing a dry spell, Victoria Falls in Livingstone now has some water flowing
After months of experiencing a dry spell, Victoria Falls in Livingstone now has some water flowing

Zimbabwe and Zambia should jointly market Victoria Falls instead of competing as this would bring more tourists to the world wonder.

Branding and reputation expert Thebe Ikalafeng said it was beneficial to the two countries to complement each other.

“They need to understand that the two countries offer something different,” he said.

“The fact that Victoria Falls sits in the middle of both countries and the fact that at different seasons, one country has got different flow of water should not be a basis to compete.

“The basis to compete should be ‘come to Zimbabwe and experience Victoria Falls from this end and see what you do differently.’

“Then go to Zambia and in addition to Victoria Falls, you can do this part.

“But the activities that are linked to Victoria Falls from the Zambian side should be different from the activities that are linked from the Zimbabwean side.

“This is how you find the difference. Don’t make the difference based on the water flow.”

The falls are jointly owned by Zimbabwe and Zambia and the two countries have been intensifying efforts to lure more tourists.

South Africa has also entered the fray, telling tourists to visit South Africa first to view the Victoria Falls, causing consternation in Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Ikalafeng said Zimbabwe and Zambia should be delighted because “it means South Africa is moving the tourists from South Africa to Zimbabwe or Zambia”.

“So, to me, that is positive because it speaks to the idea that Africa needs to work together,” he said.

“We need to understand the different properties, concepts that every country has and how we can move tourism around the continent.”

Victoria Falls is Zimbabwe’s prime tourist resort.

The government wants to derive more benefits and wants to build a “Disneyland in Africa” in the resort at a cost of over $400 million.

Victoria Falls International Airport was upgraded at a cost of $150 million to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts in the mould of B747, B777 and Airbus, A340 or equivalent.

This upgrade has lured other airlines.

In March, South African Airway became the first airline to fly a wide-bodied aircraft into Victoria Falls after deploying an A330-200 to the resort town.

In March, Ethiopian Airlines introduced four weekly flights to Victoria Falls.

In May Kenyan Airways introduced three weekly flights to the resort town and Airlink began a six day service per week to Victoria Falls from Cape Town in July.

Standard Business Newspaper

18 COMMENTS

  1. What the man has said is good but Zambia is always sleeping and I don’t blame Zimbabwe for what they’re doing and for their adverts; Go on the Zimbabwe side of Vic falls, you will find that the paths are well maintained; David Livingstone statue is well maintained; but go to our side, you will be shocked; the paths especially the one leading to the knife edge bridge has tall grass which makes one wonder whether there are any slashers in Zambia or not; We are good at collecting money and not at maintenance; I e wonder too how often the knife edge bridge is maintained or painted.

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    • Ours is natural all the way. This is exactly what the article is talking about. Show the difference between the two sides. The Zim side is for those who love town life in the bush. The Zam side is for those who love bush life in the bush. Are we together?

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    • @KK Aiport Cabin: On the part of Zambia sleeping in terms of publicity of the Vicotria falls, I agree with you in totality. However, on the part of maintenance of the walk trails, you a far away from stating the truth. The walk trails on the Zambian side are well maintained with professionally built concrete/pebble surfaces just like on the Zim side. They are solid with a good finishing and always maintained – clean. One the other hand, the viewing points in on the Zim side are not as good as the Zambian ones. In August this year, a colleague from Zimbabwe noticed that aswell. He had good things to say about the Zambian side. The Zambian viewing points are well barricaded with natural stones and hard cubed timber, professionally bolted to the pillars making them appear so good with a very…

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    • good finishing – whereas on the Zim side, there are no such barricaded viewing points other than the fallen trees and branched that they have used over the years. The David Livingstone statue on the Zim side is just as well maintained as the wall memorial cenotaph on the eastern side of the Falls (Zambian side), which where both designed and mounted at the same time in the 1933 or so. Yes, the David Livingstone Statue done by a Zambian artist on the Zambian side somewhere in 2008 is a poor site in-terms of body portions. That one is terrible for sure. One the part of its maintenance…. i am not sure. The tall grass you see along the trails isnt as close as you have put it. Moreover, just as on the Zim side, not all that grass is cut down to its base. Only the grass so close to the walk…

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    • Only the grass so close to the walk trails needs cutting because its part of the natural environment in the Victoria Falls rainforest. The knife edge bridge can ONLY be repainted during the off peak periods between August and December because the spray from the falls would have reduced. Not all about the Zambian side is bad.

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    • first problem is that you still see and call it victoria falls. second you still put a statue of a cracker ati David livingstone. no matter what you do,if you embrace our peoples way of life and culture, you will always lag behind because you have to wait and see what they do so that you emulate. thats the problem of following. all these suggestions will always have us 10 steps behind until we start to value ourselves and culture first then use that culture of self to glorify our God given resources such as that falls.

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    • @zagaze, the names Victoria and Livingstone are easier to pronounce and market outside Zambia and Zimbabwe. They won’t be changed.

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    • @ I wonder: Oh yes. In fact, accommodation is way too expensive with generally low standards in terms of service delivery.

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    • Now, one sad thing that is happening is that, after viewing the falls on the Zambian side most tourist opt to sleep across in Zimbabwe were accommodation is relatively affordable, with great service delivery. Meaning the forex that was supposed to have remained in Zambia is ‘donated’ across the Zambezi – how sad!

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  2. After the UNIP days tourism has not been taken seriously by successive governments hence the low State investment in the sector. I wonder if the current government has any ideas on how to boost tourism as the current figures show a decline in the inflows of tourists visiting the country. Zambia has so much tourism potential to compete with the best in the world who survive on the sector but lack of seriousness from the government has frustrated it. Unlike other countries in the region Zambia has so many tourist attractions other than the Victoria Falls that can be marketed to the world if aggressive strategies could be put in place. As matters stand now other countries will continue to market the Victoria Falls to boost their tourism sectors and you can’t blame them for our own…

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  3. I agree with Thebe fully but would have loved that he reports on expansion of the two international airports equally. Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International was upgraded and expanded as well. This shows that both sides realised the need to invest in infrastructure. Yes, let’s deal with the visa issues as well. It is one bottleneck that prevents tourists to have the best of both sides. Practical steps to resolve this issue are urgently needed. Let’s brainstorm how to resolve visa issues, vehicle permits and the like!!!!

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  4. This is historical and what Zambia needs is to go flat out to advertise on media like AL Jazeera, BBC, CNN etc instead of advertising in the Times of Zambia, Daily Mail or the Mast.

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    • @Ndanje, if CNN can recognize the Victoria Fall as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, what prevents you from looking beyond Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and the Mast?

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  5. He is very right. Right now South Africa markets the Falls as theirs and it brings in lots of money

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