Airlines flock Victoria Falls, tourism players rap police for scaring visitors

ONE of the four major African airlines, Kenya Airways made a maiden landing in Victoria Falls on Monday but amid complaints by tourism industry that police were mounting too many roadblocks that are scaring away tourists.

Kenyan Airways, called KQ, comes soon after two others from the ‘major airlines league’ South African Airways and Ethiopian Airways launched theirs in March as the new look Victoria Falls International Airport continue to lure bigger players after its refurbishment which finished last year.

Kenyan Airways will be operating three times every week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturday on the Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Cape Town route.

Tourism players said this is a great development for tourism as the airliner becomes the first ever to fly directly to three resort destinations in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This is a precursor to greater things to come. The major beneficiary for the coming in of one of Africa’s biggest airlines is tourism because visitors will want to combine this natural wonder with other attractions,” said Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke.

While challenging tourism players to work hard to complement efforts of the aviation sector, Kaseke bemoaned high presence of police on the country’s roads saying that was making resorts such as Victoria Falls, which harbours one of the world’s top seven natural wonders unattractive.

“Visitors want to go where they are respected. To have four roadblocks between the hotel and the airport is failing to respect the. We won’t go anywhere with this. Police roadblocks are making this destination unattractive,” Kaseke added.

He said he had approached the Executive in the country about the issue

It is 20km between Victoria Falls International Airport and town centre where the hotels are.

Kenyan Airways chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze said the east African country was committed to championing inter-state cooperation through aviation.
Two m ore airlines, Lufthansa of Germany and Air Link of South Africa will also soon be flying to the same destination, bringing in the much needed numbers of tourists.

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