via $18mln entertainment park for Vic Falls 30 October 2014
AFRICA Albida Tourism (AAT) says it will build a historical and recreational park in the resort town of Victoria Falls at a cost of $18 million, the biggest private investment in the tourism hub for over a decade.
The developers said the park could attract up to 120,000 visitors yearly and increase the average stay of tourists in the town from three to four days.
AAT chairman Dave Glynn told Victoria Falls town councillors this week that the park, named Santonga, will be built on 80 hectares of land adjacent to the Victoria Falls Safari lodge and will open to the public in mid-2016.
“This $18 million Santonga education and entertainment park will be a must-see for tourists. It is expected to bring major benefits to the Victoria Falls community and is set to create 1,500 jobs,” Glynn said.
Last year, the government started refurbishing the Victoria Falls International Airport at a cost of $150 million to increase its passenger handling capacity.
The expansion work, which is being carried out by China Jiangsu and funded by China Exim Bank, also includes upgrading the domestic terminal building, constructing a new fire station, control tower and installation of state-of-the-art aviation equipment.
“If we get people to stay just one day longer, occupancies in the town will go up by over 40 percent. Accommodation and transport providers will get extra business of between 20 and 40 percent,” said Glynn.
He added that visitors would be taken through a journey from the earth’s formation to modern life and also the history of the Victoria Falls. The park would have educational and entertainment facilities to help council widen its revenue base.
The project would not rival the $300 million “Disneyland in Africa” theme park envisaged by tourism minister, Walter Mzembi to be built on 1,200 ha of land near the airport.