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Midlands Dominates Tourism
Locadia Mavhudzi

Midlands dominates new tourism investment growth
THE Midlands province has been identified as a growing hotspot for hospitality industries, surpassing other provinces as evidenced by emerging players mainly in Gweru, Kwekwe and Zvishavane.

This emerged at a Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) winter school in Gweru where upcoming hoteliers were urged to claim their space in the economy.

“Midlands province has surpassed all provinces in terms of the growth of small and medium enterprises in the hospitality sector. We applaud that because it ultimately means decentralisation of meetings, incentives and conferences,” economic analyst, Dr Gift Mugano, said.

He was presenting a paper on Zimbabwe’s economic outlook. Dr Mugano said while the traditional business concentration zones for tourism activities have been Harare and Victoria Falls, the trends were now changing.

“The new political dispensation’s business approach is premised on decentralising economic activities in Special Economic Zones across the country. This is an opportunity unveiled for hoteliers to grow their businesses.

“A boom in mineral exploitation in the Midlands Province is a potential source of clientele growth. Hoteliers can enjoy windfalls from mining giants such as Unki and Mimosa in Shurugwi and Zvishavane. Surely the re-opening of companies like Zisco and Zimasco will not only bring new local guests but international company executives as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, HAZ first vice president who is also Village Lodge owner, Mrs Naume Size, said their lodge was on an expansion drive as they are set to build a state of the art conference centre.

“We have become a force to reckon with in the hospitality sector in the province and we are now geared to construct a state of the art conference centre, which we are anticipating to complete within the next two years. We are strategically positioning ourselves to draw international customers to host events in the Midlands,” she said.

“We also believe having an international airport in Gweru can boost arrivals in the Midlands and increase occupancy.”

Other notable hospitality services in the Midlands province include the Antelope Park, which is popular for animals including lions and antelope. There is also White Waters where a number of water games are available. Newly refurbished King Solomon Hotel in Kwekwe, Pote Lodge in Zvishavane and Nichrut in Shurugwi are some of the flagship accommodation facilities in the province.

The Zanu-PF Conference Centre in Gweru was also identified as a suitable complement for meetings and conferences in Gweru.

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