HOTELS and upmarket lodges in Bulawayo are fully booked ahead of this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) exhibition, slated for April 24 to 28.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe president Innocent Manyera told NewsDay that all big hotels and registered lodges in the city were booked, with most of the customers honouring their bookings through payments.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
“From Bulawayo operators’ updates, all big hotels and registered lodges are fully booked, with most of the customers honouring their bookings through payments. Meaning new bookings are going to be taken if there are cancellations by some of the bookings,” he said.
On accommodation shortages in Bulawayo particularly during big events such as the trade fair, Manyera said they have engaged the regulatory authority, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, to ensure that all operators in Bulawayo were known and are registered.
The authority, he said, would then be able to account for all Bulawayo operators and the total accommodation stock.
“There are some private lodges and bread and breakfast facilities, but the challenge is they are not known especially through our Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe operators. So it’s difficult to account and refer businesses to them to increase availability in the City of Kings and Queens,” he said.
“So, we do hope the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will continue to engage all operators to register and we sell Bulawayo as whole.”
Almost every year, foreign exhibitors complain that hotels charge to other high rates during the trade fair period as compared with their countries. But Manyera, said hospitality products pricing were determined by various factors from the supply chain as well as demand and supply fundamentals.
“Also the fundamentals of demand and supply come into being, where if there is high demand hotels maintain their rake rates compared to low peak periods,” he said.
“Ordinarily, in any country, hotels are on the higher side if there is activity. Visitors coming to the country during ZITF are not coming on any ordinary period but when there is demand. So for them to compare prices based on an international exhibition period might be misguided,” he said.
“We charge way low rates if there is no activity to create demand, but when demand is there ordinary prices will be determined again by the demand and supply effects.”
This year’s show will run under the theme Sustainable Industrial Development-Inclusive. Competitive. Collaborative. So far ZITF Company has sold 75% of its exhibition space.
Foreign representation is expected from Botswana, Ethiopia, Japan, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Cyprus and India would be represented by individual companies from those countries, organisers say.