Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

RTG optimistic of tourism recovery

By Enacy Mapakame

Hospitality group, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) is upbeat of positive performance going forward offsetting the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in FY2020.

Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre in Harare
Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre in Harare

The growth will be underpinned by an anticipated recovery of the travel and tourism sector across the globe, as countries implement vaccinations as part of efforts to limit the spread and severity of the pandemic.

“The tourism industry was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. While the current situation is likely to persist into early 2021, we remain confident that the tourism industry will in time rebound and set the hotel business on a path towards recovery.

“A glimmer of hope has come from the ongoing vaccine efforts around the world and in Zimbabwe. This process is expected to facilitate the quick recovery of economies worldwide as well as the gradual recovery of international travel,” said chairman Arthur Manase in a statement accompanying the group’s financials for the year to December 31, 2020.

For RTG, the group is also banking on the Gateway Stream Platform to play a significant role recovery, as the group readies for sector rebound.

“Many travel and tourism players will require visibility when the industry rebounds. Gateway Stream seeks to be a significant player in that space alongside global e-commerce giants that provide access to hospitality and leisure products.

“The group will continue to explore the various opportunities presented through its digitisation initiatives as driven by the Gateway Stream.

“These opportunities are all supported by the multi-app architecture of the Gateway Stream ensuring value to all its various stakeholders,” he said.

The Gateway Stream web and mobile application is a global diversified and unified online business ecosystem that delivers perpetual, passive and active income through the ownership of markets where it connects customers with the highest quality of products and services.

Gateway Stream has been positioned as a driver of revenue and continues to capitalise on the opportunities presented by e-commerce.

Said Mr Manase: “The platform entails various revenue generating channels which are expected to drive revenues in 2021 and beyond.

“Additionally, the Group redeployed staff from those hotels that were closed into Gateway Stream to capacitate different regions across the country thereby leveraging the existing human resource base.”

Meanwhile, during the year to December 2020, revenue went down 66 percent to $1,1 billion reflective of the challenges experienced during the year due to Covid-19.

Occupancy for the year under review closed at 26 percent compared to 47 percent recorded in the prior year.

The pandemic affected all sectors but the travel, tourism and hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit, add economies effected travel bans to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Hospitality players had to closed some of their facilities in line with the Covid-19 restrictions with RTG closing two hotels in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The group was mainly sustained by its city facilities.

“The group enjoys a superior location advantage as 80 percent of its rooms stock sit on the commercial trunk of the country — the Harare Bulawayo trunk, with optimum dispersion.

“As a result, the group benefited from the residual economic activity during the hospitality slowdown in 2020,” added Manase.

Profit after tax went down 61 percent to $352 million from $913 million.

RTG did not declare a dividend in order to preserve capital during economic uncertainties due to effects of Covid-19 pandemic. The Herald