Liberty Dube Business Correspondent
MOST hotels in the Eastern Highlands were fully booked during this festive season, the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe revealed. HAZ chairman Mr Clive Chinwada said most hotels such as Troutberk Inn, Holiday Inn, White Horse Inn, Golden Peacock Villa Hotel, Montclair Hotel and Casino among others, recorded high occupancy rates. Some of them were fully booked until January.
“The resorts in Nyanga and Vumba have experienced stronger occupancies and improved spending patterns from the travelling public. Our flagship resorts have been full. These are Troutbeck Inn and Leopard Rock and they continue to have strong occupancies up to the New Year. City hotels also fared better with occupancies peaking on December 24 and Christmas Day which speaks well for the Eastern Highlands as a destination
White Horse Inn co-director Mr Frank Marembo said: “Our rooms were fully booked and we are expecting that to continue until the end of festive season. Christmas traffic was a lot busier, thanks to recent reforms in traffic policing in the country and a general increase in resort access road refurbishment.” The road linking Vumba and Mutare city was in a bad state, a situation that discouraged tourists from visiting the mountainous resort area. Mr Willard Madhombiro of Golden Peacock Villa Hotel said the hotel was fully booked and described this year’s Christmas as the best ever in terms of tourist arrivals.
“We are glad that the drive to promote domestic tourism is finally paying off. Generally, as a destination we enjoyed a huge turnout. We recorded awesome figures on accommodation, food and beverages.
“I believe a combination of factors has contributed immensely to the oversubscription of hotel facilities in the Eastern Highlands. Destination marketing initiatives put in place by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe, Eastern Highlands Experience, trade fairs and road shows have also been critical.
“Tourism destinations are also now accessible because of refurbished roads as well as less police hassles. As operators we would like to appreciate the new Government for creating an enabling environment for more tourist arrivals.”