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Hotels fully booked for ZITF

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Officials in Bulawayo’s hospitality sector say visitors during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) at the end of the month have taken up all available rooms for the duration of the exhibition.

In a snap survey this week, NewsDay discovered most rooms at leading hotels had been booked.

“We are fully booked for that period. People usually book very early for the trade fair period and we are almost always fully booked by the time April starts,” said an official at Cresta Churchill Hotel.

Holiday Inn and Bulawayo Rainbow and several upmarket lodges also confirmed they were fully booked for the ZITF period.

This year’s exhibition, to be officially opened by Zambian President Michael Sata, will be held under the theme “Investing Locally, Reaping Globally”.

Scores of exhibitors from outside Bulawayo normally struggle to secure accommodation during the fair as hotels and accredited lodges run out of room.

Several individuals are advertising their homes for rental to delegates and attendees.
In 2010, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Company announced it planned to construct a hotel on a three-hectare piece of land in Bulawayo to accommodate exhibitors at trade fairs.

The proposed site is located at Bulawayo Golf Club close to Bradfield suburb. The local authority has approved the proposal.

The club, according to a Bulawayo City council report, did not have any objections “as long as it did not affect the club’s activities”.

Council said the proposal to build the hotel could only be permitted through a “Change of Reservations in Terms of section 49 (4) of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act”.

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