Issue 31
Victoria Falls Gets New Airport
It's now easier to travel to Zimbabwe's premier tourist destination
Edited by Jo Kromberg  ·  2016-12-02  ·   Source:
Victoria Falls (Photo by Jo Kromberg)

The brand new Victoria Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe is set to usher in a new era of tourism to the region. The airport was funded and built by the Chinese and now has the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per annum, tripling its previous volume, and is capable of landing some of the world's largest aircraft. It was officially opened on November 18, 2016 by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

The new airport can now accommodate long haul flights from around the globe, which is expected to increase inflow of tourists to Zimbabwe.

The airport is the gateway to Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Africa Albida Tourism Chief Executive, Ross Kennedy, said, "The positive impact of the new Victoria Falls International Airport will be very significant and should take the destination and region to a new level in terms of arrivals. The socio-economic benefits will be widespread as increased and new access drives the tourism sector's growth with arrivals from additional source markets."

Interest in the new Victoria Falls International Airport at the recent World Travel Market in London was high. Kennedy said, "I met with many tour operators, media and airlines at the show, and I can confirm that the interest is very high and that the travel industry is excited by the opening of the new Victoria Falls International Airport. Zimbabwe remains a hot destination on the schedules of many tour operators across the globe."

Victoria Falls is Zimbabwe's leading resort town, and construction of a new international terminal building and the rehabilitation of the existing one into a domestic terminal, has been fully operational since September this year.

The airport features a 4 km runway, a state of the art control tower, which is one of the most advanced in Africa, and a fire station, equipped to respond to fire and medical emergencies.  Facilities at the international terminal include 14 check-in counters, nine boarding gates, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for 400 vehicles. The domestic terminal features six check-in counters, two passenger security screening facilities, one restaurant and three coffee shops, eight other shops and a business class lounge.  The airport, funded by a China Export-Import Bank loan to the Zimbabwean government to the tune of $150 million, was constructed by China Jiangsu International Economic-Technical Cooperation Group. President Mugabe commended China Jiangsu International for excellent work and pledged to engage the company for similar construction projects in the future. He added that Harare and other airports in the country need to be further expanded and upgraded. He also said that the renovation could turn the airport into a regional tourist hub if aggressively marketed.

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) in Zimbabwe:

AAT currently boasts a portfolio of five-star properties including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, and the famed restaurant The Boma – Dinner and Drum Show. It will now be easier than ever for guests to travel to this wonder of the world destination and stay in five-star accommodation. AAT's luxury Ngoma Safari Lodgelodge in Chobe, neighboring Botswana, is only a two-hour drive from the airport, making it comfortable and convenient for guests to make the most of both destinations when staying with AAT. The Long Weekend Safari package, offered by AAT, incorporates these properties in both Victoria Falls and Botswana, and is the ideal option for time-restricted travelers when using the brand new Victoria Falls International Airport.

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