Zimbabwe’s hotel investment company, African Sun (ASun), in a quest to broaden reach, has added high-end campsites (glamping) at Great Zimbabwe Hotel and the Carribea Bay Resort in their third quarter of the year 2019.
Glamping is a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping according to the Oxford dictionary.
“This new product, known as ‘glamping’, because of the more luxurious feel compared to a standard campsite has already hosted the maiden group of guests at Caribbea Bay Resort in the October 2019,” ASun Company Secretary Venon Musimbe says.
“The market is excited about this new development and we anticipate an increase in foreign arrivals at these properties as we go into 2020.”
ASun, which runs the Holiday Inn brand as well as the Carribea Bay and the Troutbeck Resorts in Kariba and Nyanga respectively is also in the process of refurbishing its hotels.
“The Group has taken an initiative to revamp its product offering through a number of refurbishment programs for most of the hotels at an estimated cost of US$25 million,” Musimbe says.
“We have commenced the refurbishment of Troutbeck Resort, Carribea Bay Resort and Great Zimbabwe Hotel albeit at a much slower pace as funding commitments and long term planning have been hampered by the 20% foreign currency surrender, as well as the thirty (30) days liquidation period.”
“We are in the process of completing mock-up rooms for Hwange Safari Lodge and The Victoria Falls Hotel, the rollout of which is expected in the first quarter of 2020,” he went on.
Despite the projects lined up, ASun occupancy closed at 51% representing a 24-percentage points decline from 75% recorded in the same quarter last year.
“This is represented by a 32% decline in room nights sold from 108,448 reported in the comparable quarter last year to 73,929 this year,” Musimbe says.
“The local market was negatively affected by the January protests and low disposable incomes. Of concern are clear indications that we are in a recession.”
“In comparison, the international market has been affected by the general slowdown in world travel by 3%, as well as random actions of civil unrest like the Hong Kong strikes which affected our arrivals in the Victoria Falls destination, in particular for The Kingdom at Victoria Falls.”