The Sunday News
Charleen Ndlovu, Business Reporter
THE Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has set sights on constructing an upmarket hotel and conference facility in Binga as it moves to promote and enhance the district as one of the country’s top tourism and hospitality destinations.
IDBZ chief executive officer Mr Zondo Thomas Sakala said the proposed 32-bed hotel and conference facility was expected to spawn economic growth in the district.
“We are still in the early stages of planning which will include detailed feasibility and design studies, as well as necessary approvals. It is envisaged that the hotel and conference facility will offer a three-star hotel and catering facility, conference and corporate getaways within the Binga Development Masterplan. The hotel will be strategically placed close to the Kariba shores,” he said.
The local authority is partnering the financial institution through its role as the custodian of the land. The proposed construction of the hospitality facility is in line with the local authority’s strategic tourism plan, which entails development of various infrastructure within the district in an effort to enhance the tourism sector.
“There is a serious shortage of accommodation of all categories, for both local and international tourists. Furthermore, supporting infrastructure is also woefully inadequate. The proposed hotel will bring immense opportunities through expected growth in tourism arrivals, increase in tourism generated income and employment creation across the value chain. In addition, we also recognise that Binga is both a port and border post,” said Mr Sakala.
He said available hospitality facilities in the district were largely catering for the high and low end markets.
“Currently, available facilities in Binga largely target the lower end of the market or high-income earners. It has been difficult to attract corporate businesses in this area as well as tourists who do not want the poor services or the higher prices.
“We agreed with Binga Rural District Council, that there is a huge opportunity for a well-presented, modern, hotel and conference centre in the mid-price range, which will attract conference groups and more leisure tourists,” said Mr Sakala.
He said the local authority was also in talks with IDBZ to fund its critical priority infrastructure needs and potential.
“The bank is proud of its challenging but exciting national mandate. In this context, the bank is acutely aware of the need to play a catalytic role in helping promote development in remote and undeserved areas such as Binga,” said Mr Sakala.
The Government, through the Transitional Stabilisation Programme also targets support for aggressive marketing and rebranding of Zimbabwe, to facilitate tourism arrivals, taking advantage of the country’s diverse tourist attractions, ranging from natural, to man-made historical sites. This will hinge on provision of innovative incentive packages, and the relaxation of all restrictive visa requirements, among other measures.