The Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry says it will engage other relevant governed arms with a view to coming up with an affordable Victoria Falls rainforest entry fees structure for locals as part of efforts to promote domestic tourism.
Most Zimbabweans who pride themselves as having the entitlement to the God-given legendary waterfall, Victoria Falls by virtue of being the citizens of this land are still to visit the UNESCO heritage site.
On average a total of 63 000 locals have been visiting the rainforest annually for the past five years compared to the international tourists’ average of around 176 000 per annum.
While some tourism operators feel there is need to shelve the proposed downward review of the entry fees, others praised the government’s stance in ensuring that Zimbabweans can enjoy the beauty of their God-given natural heritage.
The majority of Victoria Falls residents who are supposed to be tourism ambassadors by virtue of living close to the natural wonder say they have never been to the waterfall as the current entry fees have denied them the opportunity to enjoy the natural resource.
Under the current rainforest entry fees structure, international tourists are charged $30 per person while visitors from the SADC region are required to pay $14.
Locals’ entry fee is currently pegged at $7, a figure which analysts say is high to many ordinary Zimbabweans given the low disposable income.
Zimbabwe shares the jow-dropping natural wonder with Zambia.
Currently the neighbouring country is charging locals $2 while children between 6 and 16 years old pay half the adult fee.