Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Players in the tourism sector should take advantage of various Government incentives aimed at supporting refurbishment and expansion programmes such as the $15 million Tourism Revolving Fund set up by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira has said.
Speaking after a site visit of Cresta Oasis Hotel in Harare, which is undergoing a $1,5 million refurbishment, Minister Mupfumira said Government had rebates allowing tourism players to import capital goods and vehicles duty free.
“In the past, hotels have had challenges in meeting the 10-year mandatory requirement for hotels to refurbish and retool their establishments, but you have proved otherwise of late by undertaking major renovations here at Cresta Oasis, Cresta Lodge, Cresta Churchill in Bulawayo and Cresta Sprayview in Victoria Falls,” she said.
“I would like to urge you and other operators to take advantage of various incentives to support refurbishment and expansion programmes that you are undertaking.”
She said Cresta Hotels was one of Southern Africa’s best known hospitality groups and one of the major top four hotel groups operating in Zimbabwe.
“The refurbishment that has been undertaken here of $1,5 million has a direct bearing on the overall picture of Zimbabwe as a destination of choice with various competitive accommodation facilities,” she said.
Cresta Hotels country director, Ms Chipo Mandela, said in the past six years the group undertook a significant transformation of its operations across Zimbabwe, driven by the need to remain relevant and to be the market leader in the three and four star market.
“We converted the accommodation block at the rear of this very hotel, Cresta Oasis, into an apartment facility, aimed at long stay travellers who wish to have a larger accommodation offering linked to a hotel with features of a hotel, from conferencing rooms to restaurants and bars,” she said.
“The total investment at this hotel is $1,5 million. We are very grateful of the Statutory Instrument that allows us to import duty free, we have been beneficiaries of that.
“We are committed to taking the industry to another level and we know through Government support we can make this industry better.”