THE ZIMBABWE Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has reviewed the Victoria Falls rainforest conservation fees.
The adjustment will see domestic tourists now paying $60 per person, up from $30, while the entry fee to the Zambezi National Park is now pegged at $50 with effect from the 1st of February.
Regional and international fees remain unchanged. The locals who constitute around 25% of the total annual visitors to the rainforest expressed mixed reactions to the adjustment with some describing the revised fees as reasonable while others bemoaned the short notice.
“With everything going up we certainly cannot expect the entry fees to remain constant. When you compare to what the international tourists are paying, the $60 is still reasonable in my opinion,” said one local tourist.
Victoria Falls tourism industry players say the adjustment is reasonable compared to the 30 United States dollars being paid by foreigners and are optimistic the funds will go a long way in enhancing the authority’s operations.
“An adjustment of ZW$30 is somehow justified, considering that a few years ago locals were being asked to pay seven United States dollars. One also has to take into account the fact that the authority has to fund conservation works,” said Fungai Nhau, Director of Afro Honey Guide.
Clement Mukwasi President of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators also echoed the same sentiments arguing that the rates are reasonable and competitive.
The legendary and breathtaking Mosi-oa-Tunya remains a major drawcard and the most-visited gem in the country, with a total of 357 552 tourists having visited the waterfall in 2019, representing a 5.6% increase compared to 338 472 recorded in 2018.