BULAWAYO, Thursday, November 24, 1966 — Tourism to Rhodesia in 1967 looks promising — but if a settlement of the independence despite is reached is reached the subsequent tourist boom will be staggering.
This is the view of Bulawayo travel agents — the men who know who’s coming to town, and who’s going where for their holidays. Mr Reg Fourie, district manager for Central African Airways, said Rhodesia had the potential to become a tourist magnet.
“And”, he added, “having looked at the picture for 1966, which appears to have been maintained from 1965, I predict that 1967 will be a boom year if the political situation clears itself.”
Mr Sandy Sanderson, a Bulawayo travel agent, said tourism had suffered no setback because of UDI, but had increased at the rate of about 10 percent a year. “It is still increasing, but it grows slowly.
“UDI seems to have slowed down business travel quite a bit, but it doesn’t seem to have affected the man on the street.”
Mr Fourie said his airline had firm bookings for over 2 000 American tourists who will be coming to Rhodesia next year.
“Of course”, he said, “I cant guarantee that they will be coming to Bulawayo, but they will be coming to Bulawayo, but they will be wanting to go to Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe and other tourist spots”.
Due in Bulawayo next May is a scientific congress expected to bring in up to 300 delegates, said Peter Dunley of the Bulawayo Publicity Association. He added: “If a satisfactory settlement is reached over the independence question, there would be a tremendous surge in tourism — particularly from South Africa.
Into Bulawayo in July will come some 30-50 carloads of South Africans, towing their caravans behind them, said Mr John Beale, chairman of Bulawayo branch, Southern Africa Caravan Association.
“They will practically take over Bulawayo Caravan Park while they are here, but then tourism is cash money.
“There may be some congestion on the roads when the convoy is going through”, Mr Beale said, “but they will be through Wankie and Victoria Falls before Rhodes and Founders’ which is something”.