Declining hotel standards erode value for tourists says Zim tourism minister

Declining hotel standards erode value for tourists says Zim tourism minister

HARARE, February 23 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s hotel standards have drastically fallen compared to regional peers owing to a weakening economy and are not offering value to tourists, the Tourism and Hospitality minister, Walter Mzembi has said.

“Zimbabwe hotel rooms are generally competitive, but what makes Zimbabwe appear expensive is lack of value for money, for example, a three star hotel in South Africa and Seychelles is offering a product better than a five star hotel in Zimbabwe,” Mzembi told members of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“In addition, the Zimbabwe hotel rates may appear seemingly high because of the exchange rate with other currencies, for example, the US dollar versus the South African Rand.”

Mzembi said for zero to two star hotels, Zimbabwe’s rate is $74 per room, South Africa $58, and Seychelles $105. The rates at three star hotels in Zimbabwe are $129, South Africa $104 and Seychelles $172, while a five star hotel in Zimbabwe would charge $232, in South Africa $415 and in Seychelles $504.

“Economic challenges have made it difficult for the destination to attract investors for new hotel developments in the country, especially the four star to five star range,” Mzembi added.

However, he said introduction of Special Economic Zones will help attract investment in the tourism sector.

Mzembi said statutory instruments are in place to assist tourism players to refurbish their properties and uplift operating standards but did not elaborate.