Hotel occupancy in Midlands drops

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Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
HOTEL occupancy has dropped in the Midlands province as some businesses close ahead of the festive season.

Hospitality players in the province derive most of the businesses from the corporate world especially the mining sector, which is the hub of the Midlands’ economic activity.

Zvishavane based Pote Hotel’s guest relations manager, Miss Melissa Zuvaradoka, said as the festive season approaches, they have seen hotel occupancy dropping.

“We have started noticing a difference in December as the hotel occupancy has gone down, a trend which we started noticing in November. Most of our business comes from businesspeople, non-governmental organisations and mines, so now as we near the end of the year, they are winding up their business to prepare for the holidays,” she said.

Miss Zuvaradoka said the hotel was now focusing more on functions such as weddings to compensate for the business lost during the festive season.

Mr Bernard Mlauzi, the manager of Gweru based upmarket lodge, Tranquillity, said the absence of major holiday resorts in the Midlands contributes to low uptake of rooms.

“Business is now low because we are now approaching the festive season.

If we had major holiday resorts in the province, I believe it would be a different story for now,” said Mr Mlauzi.

Mpumalanga Lodge’s Mr Cosmos Tsvangira said: “As we go towards the festive season room occupancy will drop as we do not have any other activities that we do at our lodge except for conferencing and during this time most companies are closing for the holidays, so there is no business for us.”

Hoteliers say the absence of major holiday resorts contribute to the depressed occupancy during the festive season.

Players in the hospitality industry draw most of their business through conferencing due to the centrality of the province.

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