via Zimbabwe regrets Disney remarks TravelMole.com Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Zimbabwe has denied reports that it will develop a Disney-style theme park at Victoria Falls.
But plans are under way for a large tourism development close to the Falls.
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi said during a WTO conference that he hoped to encourage some of the millions of people who visit the Animal Kingdom park in Disneyland to see the real thing in Zimbabwe instead.
Ross Kennedy, the CEO of Africa Albida Tourism, said the minister’s remarks were repeated in news outlets around the world, with many worrying that a theme park in the resort town would detract from the natural beauty of the Falls.
Kennedy said that Mzembi’s analogy was “careless in hindsight” and insisted that no one would see Mickey Mouse walking around Victoria Falls “any time soon”.
He did, however, say that plans to build a new development 24km away from Victoria Falls are in place.
As well as hotels, shopping malls and casinos, the site will “possibly” host a water-based theme park in fitting with its settings.
Mary-Anne Situma, of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, said the country is proud of the fact that Victoria Falls is a heritage park and would not risk losing the status it has been awarded with inappropriate development.