HOSPITALITY concern Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG), has launched a credit plan underwritten by local banks which allows guests to pay for services rendered by the hotel group in instalments as the company seeks to grow its revenue in the liquidity constrained market.
Speaking at the launch of the product yesterday, the group’s commercial director Shupai Marware said the “stay-now-pay–later” product allows organisations and individuals to use the company’s facilities without paying anything in advance.
Marware said the product will be accessed by customers who would have been vetted by the group.
The development comes at a time when the tourism sector is on a recovery path following a decade-long economic contraction.
Marware said the group projects an incremental annual contribution of 15% of total room nights sold per annum through the stay–now-pay-later campaign.
He said the payment will be made in three equal monthly instalments by way of stop orders that will be dispensed through organisations or individuals’ local banks.
“The vetting process is simple yet sophisticated and credible. RTG has partnered with several local banks in rolling out this exciting and innovative programme.
Banks are facilitating the dispensation of stop orders on benefiting corporate and customers holding accounts with them,” Marware said.
The hospitality group has so far engaged Ecobank, Steward Bank, Metbank, Allied Bank and others that were still to sign the agreements.
The country’s tourism sector has not been offering credit to its customers resulting in tourists paying cash for tourism services.
On other international markets, people use credit cards to access tourism products.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi said the launch of the product showed innovation on the part of RTG and hoped other tourism players would follow suit.
“We have Europeans paying with credit cards for their holidays while we Zimbabweans that are worse off are supposed to pay in cash.
“By introducing the credit plan, it shows that we are being practical,” Chidzidzi said.
RTG, for the first six months of this year, posted an after tax profit of $105 000 to June this year due to cost-cutting measures.
In the half year of 2012 the group recorded a $3,2 million loss.