The $150 million Victoria Falls Airport was officially inaugurated by Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe on Friday, Nov. 18.

The completely revamped airport now has a capacity to handle over 1.5 million passengers per year, according to Annajulia Hungwe, public relations and communications manager for the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, and will be able to accommodate the world's largest aircraft. Hungwe added the airport had been built so that it could be expanded to accommodate rising tourist numbers if necessary.

Facilities at the new international terminal include 14 check-in counters, nine boarding gates, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for 400 vehicles.

Tour operators in the region said they expect the new airport to have a positive impact on tourism to the region. "Increased and new access will drive the tourism sector's growth with arrivals from additional source markets," Africa Albida Tourism chief executive Ross Kennedy said in a statement.

Kennedy added he met with many tour operators, media and airlines at World Travel Market in London earlier this month and saw great interest in the opening of the airport. "Zimbabwe remains a hot destination on the schedules of many tour operators across the globe," Kennedy said.

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