RAINBOW Tourism Group (RTG) injected US$6.2 million in refurbishing its hotels across Zimbabwe inside a 12 month period, the company’s board chairperson, Arthur Manase has revealed.
He made the remarks last week while presenting the group’s financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2019.
“The refurbishment plan has been underpinned by the desire to make all our hotels world-leading. To that end, the group invested $42 million approximately US$6.2 million into hotels refurbishment in 2019,” he said.
Manase said during the first quarter of the year, the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel was temporarily closed in an exercise which involved the upgrading of bathrooms, full replacement of the hot and cold water reticulation system, replacement of exterior windows, upgrade of soft furnishings in rooms and the replacement of guest elevators.
Similar works were undertaken at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, where a rebuilding exercise was carried out involving the gutting down and reconstruction of entire guest rooms and bathrooms for 187 rooms.
“It is pleasing to note that the Rainbow Towers refurbishment exercise was completed within two months, which is a very short period given the nature of the work. Going forward, the group will continue with the refurbishment exercise to complete the process of making all the hotels world-leading,” Manase said.
The hotel group said the major significant change in 2019 was the introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar, which caused a general uncertainty in the economy leading to an increase in the price of commodities and services.
However, during the year under review, the hotel group’s revenue grew by 62% from $279.8 million in 2018 to $454.6 million in 2019.
The Group’s occupancy closed at 47%, which is 23% below the 61% recorded in 2018.
RTG attributed the slowdown in occupancy levels to the group’s decision to close Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel in January and February 2019 as well as Rainbow Towers Hotel from mid-December 2019 for refurbishments.
“The impact of these closures was a loss of 12,100 rooms (4% occupancy). On a like-for-like basis occupancy closed at 51% above the national average occupancies of 41% reported by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA Q3 2019 report),” added Manase.