RTG eyes 500 listings on its homestay app

RAINBOW Tourism Group (RTG) Limited chief executive officer, Tendai Madziwanyika says the company is targeting 500 home owners, who want to register their properties on their RTG Gateway application for leasing as the hospitality concern seeks new revenue streams.


This comes as the RTG announced yesterday it had overturned the loss making position for the year ending December 31, 2017 to register a profit after tax of $112 265 from a loss of $4,68 million

Speaking to NewsDay after the RTG group announced its financial results for 2017, Madziwanyika said the main focus this year would be to seek homeowners to register their properties on the RTG Gateway application.

“We have invested in the IT backbone of it, the IT capability, which is already there so if someone wants to stay in a home in preference to a hotel, they can just view what is there. Our number one priority that I was reporting for this year is to recruit owners of houses, who are saying I would rather put my house onto the RTG gateway than to keep it on monthly rentals . . . just like people put their properties on to Airbnb. So, we are right now recruiting partners,” he said.

“On homestays, I think we have about 50 and we are targeting about 500 by year end. The trick is we need a critical mass because for you to decide I am going to use the RTG Gateway as truly my gateway when I want to travel or when I want to eat out, instead of looking for the hotel, phoning them and stuff I am going to go on to the gateway as your default travel guide. We feel we need a critical mass of homes, restaurants and other hotels.”

Madziwanyika said home owners looking to stop leasing out their properties monthly can instead partner the RTG group to register their properties, with the group taking a 10 to 12% commission per booking.

“This is why I am saying this is a model that really should work because a guy is sitting there and saying ‘I have got my house in Avondale and I am getting $600 a month but through the gateway, I can get more’,” he said.

On the RTG group’s RTG Gateway application, there is a section dedicated to providing homes and boats to users for short term lodgings seeking alternative accommodation to hotels.

A user can choose a home to stay in depending on the different types of lodgings and can stay for as long as the package allows.

RTG has 50 homes listed on the application, with a goal of getting up to 500 by year end.

The concept is similar to American company Airbnb, an online marketplace and hospitality service, which people use to lease or rent short-term lodging.

RTG closed 2017 with a net profit margin of about 0,42%, showing that the company started the year in the profitable position with room to grow.

The group was able to overturn its loss making position due to moving its business out of Mozambique and closing its Beitbridge Hotel, which were loss making entities.

Revenue increased 12% to $27 million by the end of 2017 from $24,13 million in 2016.

Operating expenses were lower at $14,42 million in the period under review from $16,72 million realised in 2016.

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