The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
HOSPITALITY group, Cresta Hotels is set to embark on another refurbishment drive to spruce up its facilities as it gears for increased business as entities adjust to co-exist with the threats of Covid-19.
The refurbishment will come after the group spent approximately US$12 million in another refurbishment exercise between 2012 and 2018.
Business was, however, immediately affected when the world was gripped by Covid-19, knocking down gains as travel and face to face interactions were curtailed.
Covid-19 put the whole world on strict travel bans, which saw a decrease in occupancy of hotels and other tourist activities.
The tourism sector was among those hard-hit with some facilities forced to shut down and cut down on workforce.
Speaking during a stakeholders engagement in Bulawayo recently, Cresta Hotels managing director Mrs Chipo Mandela said the refurbishment was in line with ever changing trends and is aimed at improving customer experience at their hotels. Cresta Hotels has five hotels in Zimbabwe and one in South Africa
“The past two years have been devoid of many things and we are pleased to be able to resume face to face interaction with you.
In hospitality, personal interaction is everything. As we meet after these two difficult years our focus is on ensuring we have good infrastructure of high standards.
We refurbished Cresta Churchill in Bulawayo and rebranded it in 2018. We are coming back with another refurbishment,” she said.
Mrs Mandela said between 2012 and 2018, the group spent approximately US$12 million in refurbishments.
“The reason why we did that is because it is our brand promise to our customers and we are continuously and deliberately making sure that our products are of a high standard.
We are about to embark on that journey again. We have begun another refurbishment at Cresta Lodge which is the biggest in our group.
It will be in the form of soft refurbishment whereby we are refashioning, redesigning and redoing all our bedrooms and public areas,” she said.
Mrs Mandela expressed hope that the tourism and travel industry will soon bounce to pre-Covid-19 era levels.
“It is our hope that all forms of local, regional and international travel will return to previous levels and that demand for our service from the conferencing, services and social areas will also return to the high level of which we are geared for.
We look into the future with confidence in ourselves and our various markets. We will work towards not just resumption of previous operations and also towards increased activities with our customers,” she said.
Cresta Churchill general manager Mr Kudzai Ratisai said the industry had gone through a challenging patch due to Covid-19.
“It is because of the support of our customers that we have been able to make it. We have seen tremendous growth following our refurbishments.
Covid-19 affected the way we did our business and we are glad things are starting to look better,” he said. – @NyembeziMu