from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – THE just-concluded Econet Victoria Falls Marathon has grown into a global tourism draw card for Zimbabwe’s
tourism capital city.
The 15th edition of the annual race attracted more than 4 500 runners from 42 countries around the world.
Zimbabwean runners dominated, with Blessing Waison and Ethel Pangiso winning the men’s and women’s full (42km) marathon respectively.
Moses Tarakinyu and Patience Garauzive won the men’s and women’s half (21km) marathon respectively.
Tourism was the biggest winner at the event that coincided with the sponsors, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, celebrating its 25th anniversary.
More than 20 organisations, mostly in tourism, exhibited at the marathon.
Hotels and lodges had been fully booked since last week.
Some residents in Victoria Falls also made brisk business as they let out their houses as break-and-breakfast (BnBs) establishments.
Kezito Makuni, Econet Wireless Chief Operations Officer, said the marathon complemented government efforts to promote tourism through
implementation of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy, launched in 2020 towards a US$5 billion tourism industry by 2025.
“The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon is not only about running. It is part of us supporting government policy to build the tourism industry,” Makuni said.
Somveli Dlamini, the Victoria Falls mayor, said the city reaps rewards from hosting the event.
“Our people get jobs and business opportunities through hosting the marathon and as a city we are excited that Econet brought this event
here,” he said.
Athletes took time to sample some tourism activities and foods around the city.
– CAJ News