$18m tourism project on cards

HARARE - Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) plans to invest $18 million towards the construction of an amusement park, Santonga, in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

“The layout, infrastructure, design and content plans are very well advanced, enough to start on site very soon with landscaping,” said Dave Glynn, the group’s chairman.

Santoga, whose construction is expected to start by June 2015 and open doors by July 2016, is set to tell the story of Victoria Falls in all its aspects including, history, culture, the flora and the fauna.

“There will be shows throughout the day and lots of interaction with wildlife and hi-tech elements. The project is expected to bring major benefits to the Victoria Falls community, with spin offs to include the creation of more than 1500 jobs,” said Glynn.

He noted that the project would be a follow up on the $150 million international airport construction project taking place at the resort town and the tourism group’s hope is for Santonga to take advantage of the increased tourist arrivals capacity.

“We expect to attract 120 000 visitors each year. Santonga will indeed be a big foreign currency earner as well as tax and local rates contributor,” he said.

This comes as at the end of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and neighbour Zambia last year, Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said government was planning a low-budget entertainment park in the resort town of Victoria Falls to boost local tourism.

“We want to bring the Garden of Eden to Victoria Falls, where flora and fauna can co-exist,” he said.


 

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