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A lost sister

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I have just read that South Africa could be facing a deficit in providing hotel accommodation for visitors during the 2010 World Cup. According to South Africa’s Mail And Guardian, Fifa’s accommodation agency is believed to be facing a deficit of 9 000 hotel rooms for the 500 000 international visitors expected. They have even resorted to booking rooms in “neighbouring countries” including Mauritius.

And yes, the article does cite Mauritius as a near neighbour.

If we were talking in terms of family relationships here, I would say that South Africa and Mauritius are nothing more than distant cousins. Zimbabwe, on the other hand is South Africa’s own sister!

We also have the Victoria Falls, the Great Zimbabwe and all World Cup tourists would need to do is board a one-and-a-half-hour flight to South Africa after all their sight-seeing, as opposed to a gruelling 17 hour trip from distant places like Mauritus.

But I suppose that goes to show how little noise we are making about tourism in Zim. Last week, while in Victoria Falls, I was really disappointed to see how few tourists there were in that beautiful resort town. What was once a beautiful place seems to be suffering from the same infrastructural decay that is ubiquitous throughout this country.

And when I finally met a bunch of tourists, it was not even in the Zimbabwe side of the Falls, but rather in ‘No Man’s Land’ at the Victoria Falls bridge.

They explained that it was just too expensive for then to be tourists in Zimbabwe, much as they would have loved to see the Falls from the vantage point of the Zim side.

It was sad for me to hear. And even sadder for me to realise that we are doing little, if anything to encourage tourism in our nation in the build up to 2010.

And thus we have been overlooked by Fifa as a “near neighbour” and sister, instead fading somewhere into the distantness of a lost relative.

One comment to “A lost sister”

  1. Comment by enock musungwini:

    I agree with you the Writer about the failure of Zimbabwe to take advantage of the Windfall opportunity.Zimbbawe is the most strategic country that was going to benefit more from the Staging of the world cup. opportunities included accomodating guests , tourists and also camping venues for acclamatisation by different teams from Europe since our weather conditions are similar to SA.