The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon on July 7 has brought a boost to the tourism sector in the Zimbabwe resort town.

Hotels and lodges were fully booked over the race period and eateries and activities also had 100% bookings from sports tourists from 43 countries who had registered for the event, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) reported.

The event also significantly contributed to domestic tourism, as 2 657 Zimbabweans from across the country took part, most of them bringing along their families and friends.

ZTA Chief Operations Officer, Givemore Chidzidzi, said: “An event of this magnitude helps the country in various ways. It’s an attraction on its own, which shows the power of mega events on tourists. We are trying to promote sports tourism in Zimbabwe and this iconic event in Victoria Falls has grown from stage to stage and now we talk of 43 countries and more than 3 518 runners who brought their supporters and family here.”

He encouraged Zimbabweans from across all economic sectors to support such initiatives, to play a part in the country’s engagement and re-engagement efforts.

Clement Mukwasi, President of the Employers Association for Tourism and Safari Operators, said the main beneficiaries were accommodation, food, cruise, game drives and helicopter flights.

The marathon came at a time when prospects are looking brighter for the tourism sector, which is entering its busiest season.