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Europe’s hospitality giant eyes Zimbabwe

Story by Owen Mandovha

ZIMBABWE is set to become the epicentre of Europe’s expansion into the African tourism industry after a local company sealed a deal with Europe’s fastest-growing hotel chain, Grand Metropolitan Hotels.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Honourable Barbra Rwodzi says Zimbabwe’s target of a US$5 billion industry by 2025 is on the horizon with the country expected to become the epicentre of tourism and hospitality in Africa.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the World Travel Market which marked a key alliance between Rainbow Tourism Group and Grand Metropolitan Hotels in South Africa this Thursday.

“I’m excited to witness this development that is a testament to the fact that Zimbabwe is open for business but at the same time, happy that one of our players is into an alliance with Europe’s fastest growing hotel chains to forge an alliance to manage hotels in Africa. This alliance elevates our industry to be the haven of key hotel management expertise and other associate benefits that come with such a noble partnership,” said Honourable Rwodzi.

The two partners gave an insight into the endless possibilities that lie ahead for the benefit of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.

“We were looking for a partner who would suit us in our Africa’s growth plan and RTG was the obvious choice and we hope that this partnership is going to see Zimbabwe’s hospitality getting enhanced,” said Grand Metropolitan Hotels executive chairperson, Mr Martin Smura.

Rainbow Tourism Group managing director, Mr Tendai Madziwanyika said, “This is an opportunity to create value for our shareholders and it comes with us harnessing our strength to bring the best model to manage hotels in Africa and Zimbabwe’s tourism is the ultimate beneficiary in this.”

The Zimbabwe’s Consul General to Capetown, Mrs Esther Mudambo was equally excited by the pact which harnesses Zimbabwe’s international trade linkages.

“Our government has taken a different thrust in pursuit of our economic growth plans by way of economic diplomacy and it is impressive to see RTG courting the fastest-growing hotel in Europe into a management alliance.”

The establishment of the first-ever School of Hospitality in Zimbabwe which will bring Europe’s top-notch hotel experts to empower locals on international hotel management and culinary skills is also on the cards.

The key alliance will also see the staging of the first-ever Africa Hospitality Technology Summit in Harare next year to harness Africa’s technology hotel expertise.

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