Victoria Falls: A MASSIVE US$50 million hotel project is on the cards in Victoria Falls, as the transformation of the prime tourism destination into a world-class city and resort gains momentum.
Victoria Falls council has partnered with a private company to set up the hotel.
Since the coming in of the Second Republic, massive developments have taken place in Victoria Falls despite the dampening impact of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
President Mnangagwa last year commissioned Palm River Hotel, Zambezi Boutique Hotel and Nkosi Guest Lodge, adding to several other new facilities that have been built or extension of existing hoteliers.
Victoria Falls is a strategic destination whose operations have a huge bearing towards the attainment of the Government’s US$5 billion tourism economy target by 2025, and Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle-income society.
Chronicle understands that the new hotel which will have more than 100 rooms and with a US$50 million investment, will soon be constructed on the Zambezi River banks between A’Zambezi River Hotel and Palm River Lodge.
The project is a partnership between the Victoria Falls City Council and project promoter Lamcent Capital, a Harare equity investment company.
A multinational hospitality company that manages and franchises a broad portfolio of hotels and resorts is understood to be part of the deal to manage the facility on a build-operate and transfer arrangement.
Victoria Falls City Council Town Clerk Mr Ronnie Dube confirmed the partnership with Lamcent Capital which won the tender flighted by the local authority to set up the hotel.
He said council is working on a local development plan which should be completed within the next 12 months.
“This is a legitimate arrangement which has Cabinet approval.
From last year to date we have been doing paperwork and agreements in liaison with the Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority and signing of official documents will be done soon.
“This is a good thing to happen especially now that we have signed performance contracts. I signed a performance contract to bring investment and the number of projects that are coming through are a key performance indicator,” said Mr Dube.
He said the project will create employment for a lot of people and have a spillover effect on council through improved revenue collection.
Mr Lameck Tarupuwa of Lamcent Capital could not be reached for comment.
Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe president Mr Wengayi Nhau said the project is a positive development.
“This is a positive development as it adds to accommodation in Victoria Falls but we are still yet to utilise our room potential.
So, we need to come up with a masterplan so that we address issues of environmental speculation,” he said.
There are about 2 000 hotel rooms in Victoria Falls and between 5 000 and 6 000 nationally, according to figures from hotel industry players.
Once implemented, this will arguably become one of the major hotel projects with a complement of more than 100 rooms to be done in Victoria Falls in the last decade, as many of those done are expansion of existing facilities.
Victoria Falls was designated a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and work is underway to operationalise the concept through the Integrated Development Programme/Conceptual Development Framework for the Victoria Falls-Hwange—Binga SEZ whose idea is to integrate economic activities, catapult growth and improve livelihoods in the province.
Government plans to build Masue and Batoka satellite towns as part of the Victoria Falls Development Plan whose corridor comprises Masue Stateland, Batoka City, Mlibizi, Binga Centre, Sijalila, Hwange Hinterland and Gwayi-Shangani resort.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister said better days are beckoning for Matabeleland North and the country as a whole.
“We are grateful if we are getting people wanting to invest in our province and doing such projects which develop the province.
“We thank President Mnangagwa and his Second Republic for the Zimbabwe is open for business policy,” he said.
There are a number of other multi-million tourism projects that are being worked on in Victoria Falls, with proprietors of Glow Petroleum one of those planning two five-star hotels.
Source – The Chronicle