South African television personality and entrepreneur, Maps Maponyane, says is impressed by the number of projects underway in the resort town of Victoria Falls adding Zimbabwe is currently the best investment destination in the region.
Mr Maponyane arrived in Victoria Falls on Saturday at the invitation of tourism operators and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) as part of the two organisations’ efforts to reposition the destination as a prime tourism resort and showcase the booming investments.
The latest developments in the resort town come in the wake of the new dispensation’s thrust to drive investment under the ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ mantra as well as the granting of Special Economic Zone status (SEZ) to the town.
A SEZ is an area in a country that is subject to unique economic regulations that differ from other areas in the same country.
The regulations are deliberately relaxed and designed to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
Tourism is one of the key pillars that Government is hoping to drive economic recovery and achieve upper middle income status by 2030 as espoused by President Mnangagwa.
Upper middle income economies have citizens earning at least Us$3 500 per month.
Mr Maponyane stayed in the resort town for 20 hours and was taken on a tour of some of the massive projects being developed in the area.
He said: “I got to see a few different sites — places like Pioneer.
There is a really great five to six-star villa suit under construction, being built by Dr Nyameza.
It was amazing to see all these different places with structures under construction.
“Yes, the economy might be struggling but people are really investing – there is so much potential – there is still so much hope and trust in the future of Zimbabwe.
“Victoria Falls is a place I will definitely recommend for investment.
I think everyone else must definitely look at it positively and see a great future for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Maponyane also spoke on misinformation by some sections of the foreign media that one of the world’s seven wonders had dried up.
He said while the water levels naturally subsided, it was expected during this time of the year, adding that it did not warrant a story that the falls were drying up.
“There is nothing like the falls drying up,” said Mr Maponyane.
“I think it’s seasonal, the water is slightly lower than usual and that’s the case wherever you go in the world about rivers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the fuel situation in all the country’s major tourist destinations is stable after ZTA engaged the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) and private players in the petroleum industry to guarantee supplies.
In an interview with The Herald Business and Finance, ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Godfrey Koti, said travellers can plan their holidays unhindered by envisaged fuel challenges.
“We had discussions with Zera and other private players where we got their buy-in on the need to guarantee supply for tourist areas,” said Mr Koti.
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