By Alois Vinga
A NEW partnership between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the government will see flights between Harare and Victoria Falls registering a 5% increase.
The increase in passengers will be on pre-Covid19 seat capacity at the end of the project.
In emailed responses to NewZimbabwe.com Business, the IFC communications department said the project is part of a broader, multi-year tourism advisory programme between IFC and Zimbabwe.
The programme is called the Zimbabwe Destination Development Program (ZDDP, 2020-2023).
The ZDDP programme is targeting revenue recovery for the tourism industry in Victoria Falls as a key indicator of success.
“IFC is providing advisory and technical support to help Zimbabwe increase air access to the Victoria Falls area. The project, which is underway and will initially run for two years, provides technical assistance to government stakeholders to study the feasibility of new routes and frequencies, and to support government’s engagement and negotiations with airlines,” IFC said.
The corporation said the project also provides technical guidance on best practices on improving an air transport enabling environment, incentives to airlines, and route marketing.
“The aim is to recover pre-Covid-19 flights and bring new flights to Victoria Falls, and Harare, targeting a 5% increase on pre-Covid-19 seat capacity by the end of the project,” said IFC.
The project also aims to create jobs depending on the number of new airlines, routes, and frequencies that are brought to the Victoria Falls area.
Airports Company of Zimbabwe acting chief executive, Tawanda Gusha described the union as timely and strategic.
“The time is right to expand our network to ensure the destination can grow its position as a gateway to the country and the wider region. This is in line with our strategic thrust of developing Victoria Falls as a regional tourism hub,” he said.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets working in more than 100 countries where the institution invests capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.
Last year, the prime resort Victoria Falls was granted city status.