By Gracious Madondo
International tourist arrivals in Victoria Falls have been boosted by the large number of tourists from Britain.
According to a latest survey conducted by one of Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality group, Africa Albida Tourism, there has been a marked increase in international visits by British tourists from 2016 to 2018.
“UK arrivals saw a sharp up-stick in 2017, but this is likely just the beginning of significant volume increase. The UK was formerly 30 percent of Victoria Falls arrivals in 2017, and it seems logical to anticipate large volume increase in UK arrivals going forward,” part of the survey reads.
The survey states that the significant growth in tourism arrivals to Zimbabwe from UK increased to 36 percent in two years.
International tourist arrivals sharply rose from 141 743 in 2015, 156 689 in 2016 to 212 590 in 2017 with 36 percent of the visitors being from Britain.
The survey reveals that local arrivals to Victoria Falls rose significantly especially between 2015 and 2016 from 59 193 to 70 305 to 71 574 in 2017.
Regional arrivals to Victoria Falls also recorded an increase from 31 818 to 33 614 from 2015 to 2017 respectively.
The Victoria Falls looks set for continued arrival growth as strong growth has been recorded in the first six months of 2018.
Africa Albida Tourism Group says the Zimbabwean side of the falls recorded a sharp growth in visitor numbers in 2018.
It is envisaged that the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls will likely exceed the 15 percent mark which doubles visitor numbers in under five years to 704 00 visitors in 2023 alone.
The survey shows that visitors arrival to Victoria Falls on the Zambian side have seen a steady growth in the past two years from 163 954 in 2015 to 173 640 in 2017.
South Africa has recorded an increase in tourists destined for Victoria Falls in the past two years due to the Cape Town direct flight linking with Kenya Airways that connects two iconic destinations.
The survey titled “Victoria Falls - Africa’s Living Soul” was sponsored and conducted by Africa Albida Tourism group. It covers areas which includes Victoria Falls and Hwange in Zimbabwe, Livingstone in Zambia and Chobe and Kasane in Botswana.