Tourism in Victoria Falls Unaffected by Zimbabwe Vote

Tourism in Victoria Falls Unaffected by Zimbabwe VoteTourism in Victoria Falls Unaffected by Zimbabwe Vote

It is business as usual in the Zimbabwean tourist town of Victoria Falls‚ with a steady influx of tourists from western countries‚ resulting in most hotels and lodges operating at near-full capacity in the run-up to the Monday election.

Clement Mukwasi‚ president of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators‚ attributed the tourist arrivals to the peaceful environment currently prevailing in the run-up to the elections‚ a notable departure from previous elections such as the hotly-contested poll in 2008 that was marred by violence, Times Live reported.

Earlier this month‚ 20 political parties contesting in the polls signed a peace pledge‚ in which they committed to upholding peace throughout the poll.

"The elections are coming during the peak tourism period and we are happy the industry has not been shaken as would have happened in previous elections‚" Mukwasi said.

"What worries us though‚ are comments by some leaders who are threatening not to accept election results and this has the potential to destabilize tourism."

Currently‚ there are no travel bans or warnings on Zimbabwe.

This has helped to boost tourist arrivals‚ with the government estimating that in the first quarter of this year‚ 17‚000 tourists had arrived in the tourist town—a 48% increase over the same period last year. Hotel occupancy in the town is currently estimated at 75%. Zwelithini Nyathi‚ the owner of Travel Executive in Victoria Falls‚ said this year's elections were different from previous polls and the traditional peak tourism season had not been affected.


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