Property firm, Zimre Property Investments Limited (ZPI) will add another upmarket hotel facility in the resort town of Victoria Falls as the angle for the anticipated influx of tourist arrivals as well as narrow the deficit in bed capacity.
ZPI managing director Edson Muvingi said the development of the hotel facility – Lizard Lodge will commence as soon as they finalise all regulatory requirements with the local authorities in that town.
“We have land in Victoria Falls and we will put a 40-bed facility. We have already secured an operator and signed an agreement,” said Muvingi at a media engagement recently in the capital.
“As soon as we are done with local authority regulations, we should start construction,” he said.
The country has a shortage in tourism infrastructure like hotel rooms and conference centres with capacity to hold huge numbers in line with international standards.
This presents an opportunity for property developers to tap into the tourism industry through construction of infrastructure that supports the tourism industry. Experts say that while the country is endowed with vast natural resources, such as the Big Five and home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, lack of adequate facilities that support tourism activities across value chains may limit the country from realizing its full potential.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) says Zimbabwe as a whole has a shortage of hotels and rooms, and has less room capacity than a portion of Johannesburg — Sandton precisely. Victoria Falls’ hotel room capacity stands at 1 128 rooms while major centres like Harare and Bulawayo have 1 628 and 370 respectively.
ZPI, joins other firms in enhancing bed capacity in the resort town, which is the country’s premier tourist destination and a declared special economic zone.
Recently, the country’s largest financial services provider Old Mutual also indicated plans to develop an upmarket hotel and conference centre in the resort town.
The property sector, especially central business district (CBD) office space has been depressed lately due to voids as tenants downsize operations or close shop. Others have migrated to office parks and suburban offices as well as negotiating for downward rental reviews weighing down on the rental income.
Vast opportunities have however, been identified in office parks, tourism and hospitality infrastructure, shopping malls and student accommodation given the ballooning student population at the country’s universities and other tertiary institutions.
ZPI recently opened doors at its Sawanga Shopping Mall in Victoria Falls as well as student accommodation facility in Bulawayo. Among other projects in the pipeline are the Selbourne Park development and the Addlyin town houses in Harare.