GOVERNMENT is in the process of setting up special economic zones (Sezs) in Victoria Falls with discussions with potential investors ongoing, businessdigest has learnt.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira said on Tuesday that her ministry is in the process of setting up the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone.
Sezs are designated geographical regions that operate under special economic regulations different from other areas in the same country.
“We have started the process of getting the necessary legal requirements through the ministry of Local Government and the Victoria Falls Municipality,” Mupfumira said. “There are memorandum of understanding being done. We have also started the process of identifying possible investors. There has been such enthusiasm in as far as investing in Victoria Falls is concerned.”
Mupfumira said the major obstacle to getting investment in the resort town was the lack of a plan to help the process of investment.
She said that by March 15, the ministry will have a brochure to market the Victoria Falls special economic zone which she said will soon be launched. She said the Victoria Falls special economic zone will not be confined just to the resort town but to the whole area including Hwange and Mlibizi.
She said there are investors interested in building a marina in Mlibizi with properly developed beaches.
Mupfumira said she was in negotiations with various stakeholders in her sector to introduce special affordable packages for locals to visit tourist attractions and promote domestic tourism.
“One of the issues which has been a deterrent (to domestic tourism) has been the cost of entrance fees, the cost of hotels and the cost of accommodation. We have engaged our partners to see what we can do,” Mupfumira said. “As government we are seriously going to review entrance fees into all National Parks so that people living in those areas will go to enjoy the benefits of our God given resources.”
Mupfumira on Tuesday left the country with a delegation comprising of The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and other tourism industry players on her second international re-engagement series tour across major tourism source markets; South Africa, United Kingdom and Germany.