The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has paid tribute to existing tourism operators for maintaining confidence in the local market and expanding their business operations as evidenced by the reopening of the new Look Out Café in Victoria Falls.

Eleven months after being razed down by fire, the Look Out Café which is popular with foreign tourists reopened its doors after undergoing a major refurbishment to the tune of US$900 000.

The improved restaurant, which is sitting on a composite deck made up of recycled plastic overlooking the Batoka Gorge, can now accommodate 200 guests from the previous 80 clients.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) board member, Blessing Munyenyiwa said the investment appetite by existing and new investors is encouraging.

“This clearly shows the investor has look term commitment to the market and it is now spectacular. It is certainly going to be a hot spot for not only foreign tourists but domestic tourists as well,” he said.

According to Wild Horizons, which owns the refurbished facility, the initiative has created 60 jobs for locals, while the tour operator is also in the process of constructing a 32 bedded camp near Victoria Falls which is expected at a cost of at least US$2.5 million.

Zimbabwe Tourism Business Council (ZTBC) President, Winnie Muchanyuka said, going forward, the tourism industry will engage the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to ensure that part of the tourism revolving fund is in foreign currency to support the procurement of capital goods for refurbishment.

“We are so excited about the response that we have been getting from the clients who joined as we opened our doors today. It has been elven months without operating and l think it was worth the wait,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s tourism capital Victoria Falls has over the past few years seen a property rush as investors jostle to invest in the resort town which is eyeing to be a globally competitive tourism destination.