Last chance to visit Victoria Falls before it’s drying up?
Zimbabwe Stakeholders in the tourism industry, who included officials from the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, hoteliers, tour operators, tourism service providers, Victoria Falls Municipality, Government departments and other players, visited the rainforest yesterday to assess the situation following media reports about Victoria Falls is drying up and posting a danger to the important travel and tourism industry in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The stakeholders, going under the banner “Team Tourism”, earlier held a conference at Robins Camp in the Hwange National Park from Friday until yesterday where they resolved to come up with a crisis communication strategy whose mandate will be to make constant updates on the state of affairs in the industry to counter negative publicity.
For the past week, images and videos of the dry Victoria Falls have been trending on social and international media networks.
Zimbabwe Tourism chief Givemore Chidzidzi said the river was seasonal.
“The majestic Victoria Falls is the biggest waterfall and remains our biggest drawcard. As you can see, it’s as amazing as ever as the amount of water falling through is actually amazing,” he said.
“One thing people need to know about this natural waterfall is that it is also seasonal like any other river and right now, we have got improving water levels.
“We encourage anyone who would love to see Victoria Falls visit the attraction more than once and in different seasons. For now, there has been no effect on tourism and people have been coming as usual.”
ZTA board member Mr. Blessing Munyenyiwa said no known research shows that the Falls will dry up in this lifetime.
This year a vibrant carnival and Mapopoma festivals are planned for Victoria Falls.
Cuthbert Ncube, Chairman of the African Tourism Board appealed to those planning a visit to Africa: “Yes, please visit Victoria Falls like it was your last chance, but please keep coming back every again and again – it will be there for you in its greatness.