Meikles says flagship hotel weighed by low occupancies, shelves more renovations

Meikles says flagship hotel weighed by low occupancies, shelves more renovations

HARARE, April 12 (The Source) – Hospitality and retail group Meikles Limited says it is struggling to make returns on its $9 million investment, spent on refurbishment of its flagship hotel as occupancy levels remain low.

In 2012 the group embarked on a project to spruce up the north wing of its iconic Meikles Hotel which was completed the following year under a $9 million facility from the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank.

“Business has been difficult; being a city hotel we mainly cater for the foreign investors travelling in and out of the country but we are experiencing low occupancies from our initial projections,” Meikles Hospitality commercial director Tham Mpofu told journalists on Tuesday

“In terms of volumes we are around 30 percent, which is more or less the same with last year’s figures. A viable return would have been anything above 50 percent.”

Mpofu added that the group had put on hold plans to refurbish the hotel’s south wing, which would have required a similar investment.

The group operates two five-star hotels in Zimbabwe, The Meikles in Harare and its 50 percent-owned Victoria Falls Hotel. African Sun owns the other 50 percent.