Shortages in Zim drive up costs for operators

Challenges in Zimbabwe – such as shortages of foreign currency and fuel and an unreliable power supply – have driven up costs for tourism operators, including hoteliers.

“Increased costs faced by business operators must of course be passed on to the customers through higher tariffs and fees, which is standard in any business, but we all try to minimise increases to remain competitive in the market,” says Cresta Hotels Sales and Business Development Manager, Tersh Makamanzi.

She says there is a limit to how much can be absorbed without sacrificing viability.

However, shortages of currency and input products are not new to Zimbabwean travel and tourism operators. “The sector endeavours to maintain business-as-normal conditions for guests, irrespective of what behind-the-scenes efforts have to be made to maintain a high level of operational normality,” says Tersh.

Furthermore, travellers from across the world are still visiting. “We remain confident of Zimbabwe’s tourism sector and we have spent more than US$10 million (R144m) on product development and upgrades to physical infrastructure over the past six years,” she says.

Cresta Hotels operates five hotels in Zimbabwe, four of which are primarily dependent on business travellers, conferences and banqueting business from local, regional and international source markets. Cresta Sprayview, its Victoria Falls property, primarily focuses on leisure travellers from regional and international source markets.