By Alois Vinga
LISTED hospitality management concern, African Sun Limited has seen occupancy levels across its segments recording 30% growth on the back of significant easing of Covid-19 related lockdowns both locally and abroad.
At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the hotel group saw its occupancy levels going up by 37% with revenues plummeting by 78%.
Presenting a trading update for the first quarter ended March 31 2022, African Sun’s company secretary Venon Musimbe said there was remarkable improvement of occupancies.
“City hotels including the Troutbeck Resort recorded a 56% increase in as compared to 24% recorded in 2021.The Resort hotels, which have not fully recovered from the impact of Covid 19, achieved an occupancy level of 21% as compared to 5% recorded during a similar period last year,” he said.
The total revenue per available room increased 216% with the average daily room rate increasing 26%.
The improved performance compared with the same period last year was mainly due to an increase in occupancies and cost-saving initiatives implemented by the group.
The developments come at a time when the group is currently finalising the acquisition of remaining Dawn Properties Limited issued share capital amid plans to commence full integration of the business as soon as the transaction is completed.
Despite uncertainties on how the Covid 19 situation will evolve and the economic headwinds the Zimbabwe economy currently faces, the group is cautiously optimistic that hotel occupancy levels will maintain an upward trajectory, driven predominantly by the domestic market in the short to medium term.
The group is encouraged by the resumption and increase of international flights into the Victoria Falls destination, especially the fact that Eurowings Discover airline launched its maiden flight into Victoria Falls from Frankfurt, while Fast Jet launched a direct flight to Kruger, Mpumalanga (South Africa).
In anticipation of improved tourism activity, the Group will be undertaking refurbishment works at some of its hotels during the current year.
Major refurbishment work is currently underway at the Troutbeck Resort, whilst preparatory work has commenced to undertake similar refurbishment work at the Hwange Safari Lodge.