BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
Zimbabwe’s doyen of travel and tourism, Gordon Addams, has died aged 60.Addams died in Mutare on Friday after suffering a heart attack.The top hotelier studied hospitality management at the famous Hotel School at the Bulawayo Polytechnic and undertook in-service training around Zimbabwe, as well as at Selsdon Park in the United Kingdom.
In 1983, he joined the Cresta Hotel group where he became general manager of Cresta Jameson.He left Cresta in 1991 to establish his own hotel group, Inns of Zimbabwe, located in the Eastern Highlands and on routes into the area.
At one point, Inns of Zimbabwe operated country hotels in Nyanga (Inn On Rupurara and Pine Tree Inn), outside Mutare (Inn on the Vumba), near Chipinge (KIledo Lodge), close to Great Zimbabwe (Inn on Great Zimbabwe), in the Save Conservancy (Mukwazi Safari Lodge) and in northern South Africa (Inn on Louis Trichardt).
After downsizing and then dissolving this operation, Addams realised a lifelong ambition in 2017, opening his own boutique bed and breakfast venue in a converted 1900s suburban house in Mutare, creating a popular and successful nine-suite unit.
Addams was active in travel and tourism leadership, where at one time he was vice-president of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe, as well as Eastern Highlands chairman of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism, now Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe (TBCZ).
He was a highly regarded mentor, with hundreds of industry professionals passing through his hands in the past 40 years.Paul Matamisa, chief executive of the TBCZ and long-time friend of Addams said his death marked the end of an era.
“His passing on is the end of an era and he was a legend in our industry. He will be greatly missed.”