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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Old Mutual to construct ‘massive’ hotel in Vic Falls

The country’s largest financial services group, Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited, is geographically diversifying its properties with a massive hotel development in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The development, which will see a construction of a hotel and conference centre, is also in line with supporting the tourism industry, which is the main economic activity for Victoria Falls.

Group chief executive officer Jonas Mushosho told The Sunday Mail Business that tourism is an integral part of the economic agenda, and the sector has been identified as one of the low- hanging fruits that Zimbabwe should take advantage of for growth.

As a major tourism destination in the country, which is also one of the seven wonders of the world, Victoria Falls will always be an ideal investment area, creating scope for the new hotel and conference development.
“In Victoria Falls, we are looking at both a hotel and conference centre,” said Mr Mushosho in an interview on the sidelines of the group’s financial results presentation.
“We are diversifying geographically, a lot of our properties have been concentrated in big centres like Harare and Bulawayo, but we believe there are other areas of interest and economic activity, so we have diversified into Hwange, Victoria Falls and into Ngezi.
“Victoria Falls is major tourism destination and we believe that it is important to develop an ecosystem that supports the tourism; therefore, our developments and investments there are part and parcel of supporting that ecosystem.
“Tourism in Vic Falls is an important part of what’s happening in the country,” he said.
The development of new hotel facility will also support the anticipated growth in the sector.
Although the finer details of the developments, like capex, size of the facilities, as well as the specific timelines, Mr Mushosho said initial work was already under way.
He said: “We are going through various studies and doing alignment with other investors to make sure that our development is in line with that ecosystem, a lot of work is currently underway.”
The new hospitality facility will also help room capacity in the resort town, as well as in the country as a whole.
The whole of Zimbabwe has less rooms as compared to Sandton, in Johannesburg alone.
Currently, Victoria Falls’ hotel room capacity stands at 1 128 rooms, while major centres like Harare and Bulawayo have 1 628 and 370 respectively.

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