HARARE, May 4 (The Source) – Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) says it intends to expand its hosting capacity in Victoria Falls to cash in on the expected increase in tourist arrivals in the resort town.
The $150 million expansion of the Victoria Falls airport, which was completed last November is expected to increase arrivals in the resort town by an additional 80,000. Three of Africa’s largest airlines — Kenyan Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian– are now flying direct into Victoria Falls following the upgrade.
RTG chief executive Tendai Madziwanyika told The Source that the group’s Victoria Falls operations had contributed 28 percent to the group’s total revenue in 2016, but that figure could be doubled.
RTG has two properties in the resort town – the Victoria Falls Rainbow with 88 rooms and A’Zambezi River Lodge with with 87 rooms.
“There is potential to more than double capacity on the existing properties. There is so much opportunity and we want to consolidate our position and grow from what we have. Right now there so much business coming into these properties but we are actually giving it to the competition because we do not have the capacity,” said Madziwanyika
“Over global marketing power has been so significant that we have outperformed our ability to host those guests”
He said the growth model was less risky than their previous attempt to expand into the region.
“This is different from the growth model we tried in the past where everybody in the hospitality industry was running for regional expansion and everybody came back with tails in between their legs licking their wounds.”
RTG’s Mozambique unit racked up annual losses of $500, 000 before the group decided to call it quits last year, it is currently finalizing an exit from the Zambian market. It quit the Democratic Republic of Congo eight years ago.
RTG’s main competitor on the local market, African Sun also embarked on a regional expansion drive setting up operations in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. It abandoned them to focus on the local market in 2015.