The Zimbabwe Zambia Joint Tourism Facilitation Sub-Committee has held its inaugural bilateral meeting with tourism officials, agreeing on the need to prioritise seamless service for tourists and to refer the contentious issue of toll fees on vehicles crossing the Victoria Falls to the forthcoming joint bilateral tourism meeting set for Harare.

The two countries agreed to set up a joint tourism facilitation committee during the bilateral meeting held in Livingstone, Zambia last month with a view to strengthen collaboration in tourism development and promotion.

As a follow up to the meeting, members of the Livingstone and Victoria Falls Joint Tourism Facilitation Sub-Committee recently met to deliberate on issues affecting the critical sector.

The sub-committee’s co-chairperson, Ms Tsikadzashe Mberi described the meeting as a success.

“The meeting was very productive with parties agreeing on a number of issues which were under discussion. The overall goal is to ensure that tourists enjoy seamless services. However, the contentious issue of toll fees for vehicles crossing Victoria Falls was referred to the Joint Tourism Technical Committee,” she said.

Tour operators on both sides of the Zambezi River raised concern over the introduction of the toll fees for vehicles crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge which they said is likely to increase the prices of tourism packages.

The issue is set to be tabled during the forthcoming Joint Tourism Technical Committee meeting set for the 18th of June in Harare.

Haulage trucks are currently paying $30, heavy vehicles $10, buses $7 and minibuses $5.

The tolls fees are set to be channeled towards the refurbishment of the Victoria Falls Bridge in order to extend its life span.