Business Development Tourism Travel

Victoria Falls, Cape Town in Destination Management Partnership

Winnie Muchanyuka, CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority

Victoria Falls launched a Destination Management and city partnership with Cape Town on Friday 17 February 2023.

This is an initiative spearheaded by We Are Victoria Falls that was launched on Global Tourism Resilience Day – at a press conference. The event was held at the local community corner store, the Three Monkeys Restaurant and Bar, in Victoria Falls. We Are Victoria Falls is the destination management partnership for the destination.

The partnership was announced by the Chair of the Board, Mrs. Barbara Murasiranwa-Hughes. She said, “it is a great pleasure to announce that the partnership was formally constituted in December, and we have the strong support of six founding partners”.

The founding partners are the City Council, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, Airports Company Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks, and Wildlife Management Authority, and the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe.

Ms. Murasiranwa-Hughes added, “these founders have worked tirelessly to research, design and create this partnership – and they have committed to financially support its core operations”.

The partnership will work as a coordinating entity for tourism in Victoria Falls, pulling all stakeholders together to improve the destination for visitors, residents, businesses, and communities. The mandate of the partnership includes designing and implementing activities that support better management of the destination, as well as marketing the destination. Its role has been directly informed by extensive stakeholder consultation during 2022.

At the event, Zimbabwean artist Stanley Sibanda said he had long been inspired by Victoria Falls, the nature, wildlife, people, and place – and revealed a creative artwork that will be made into a poster for the destination. He said, “I first came to Victoria Falls as an art student and I have been painting the falls ever since. In my work I have tried to illustrate the core values of this place, to show the balance that is needed between all the elements.”

A video of his process is shown here;

“We want this partnership to be inclusive to all stakeholders, to be transparent, accountable and deliver results’ said the newly appointed partnership director Mr. Nqabutho Moyo. ‘This is an exciting public-private opportunity for us, and we look forward to working with more partners, our members, and other stakeholders.”

Following the launch of the partnership, Mrs. Murasiranwa-Hughes also announced a new partnership between We Are Victoria Falls and Cape Town Tourism.

“These two destination management organisations have agreed to embark on a joint marketing program that cross-promotes the two destinations along the theme of ‘the Ultimate African Adventure.”

Working with key airlines and private sector operators, the campaign will attract shared tourist markets to visit both places.

“A huge congratulations to We Are Victoria Falls for bringing their vision to life as this is no small feat, and we look forward to collaboratively exploring ways to position and uplift tourism within an African context, by developing ways to inspire travel between our two destinations and then share any learnings and successes with the rest of the continent,” said Cape Town Tourism Chief Marketing Executive Leigh Dawber.

Ms. Winnie Muchanyuka, CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority added “Cape Town and Victoria Falls are two iconic destinations in southern Africa and many tourists have us at the top of their dream bucket list. This partnership gives us the opportunity to forge a strong relationship.”

Mr. Tawanda Gusha, CEO of Airports Company Zimbabwe said “working with our private sector partners to support the connectivity between these two cities is key. We are committed to continuing our successful air services development program and supporting this important route.”

About We Are Victoria Falls: We Are Victoria Falls is the destination management partnership for Victoria Falls. It was established in late 2022 under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, and the Victoria Falls City Council. It is a public-private association with a mission to support the sustainable development of tourism by coordinating all of the elements that make up the destination. We Are Victoria Falls has been supported by the Zimbabwe Destination Development Program – a technical assistance project of the MECTHI and IFC, with additional funding from Japan.

About Global Tourism Resilience Day: Global Tourism Resilience Day (17 February), proclaimed by the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/77/269, aims to emphasize the need to foster resilient tourism development to deal with shocks, taking into account the vulnerability of the tourism sector to emergencies. It is also a call for action for Member States to develop national strategies for rehabilitation after disruptions, including through private-public cooperation and the diversification of activities and products.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende