ZTA calls for more MICE infrastructure investment in Bulawayo

by Editorial Team
2 minutes read

The national tourism promotion body, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has expressed the need for more investment in accommodation and conferencing facilities in Bulawayo to enhance the city’s attractiveness as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination.

Speaking during the Tourism and Transport Infrastructure Finance Conference held in Dubai last week at the ongoing Expo Dubai 2020, ZTA executive director, Reason Machigere noted that Bulawayo lacked the capacity to host events with large numbers of people owing to the lack of the necessary infrastructure.

“Bulawayo hosts our annual trade event, the ZITF but come trade fair time, because of lack of capacity, we have to house some of our delegates in holiday homes. So, Bulawayo does require serious investment in terms of conferencing, luxury hotels and budget hotels,” Machigere said.

Machigere highlighted that Zimbabwe had a deficit in terms of tourism infrastructure with a combined capacity of about 6 000 rooms.

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He indicated that most of the existing MICE infrastructure in the country was concentrated in Victoria Falls, Kariba and the Eastern Highlands.

“From an investment point of view, we have a wide range of facilities to invest in, ranging from luxury to budget hotels. Beyond Victoria Falls we have got other tourism hotspots such as Binga in Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Lake Kariba, the largest man-made water body in terms of reservoir capacity. These can be accessed by road or air transport,” Machigere noted.

Bulawayo is home to three major hotels, namely the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, the Holiday Inn and Cresta Churchill Arms. The three hotels have a combined accommodation capacity of 388 rooms and a total conference capacity of 1 060 delegates. The Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC), the ZITF venue also has conferencing and meeting facilities, which can seat up to 100 people. Apart from the hotels, Bulawayo has a number of smaller facilities and lodges which come in handy during the demand occasioned by the ZITF.  

The ZITF Company, the organisers of the ZITF and owners of ZIEC, has plans to use part of its 17-hectare property to build a 300-bed five-star hotel and a world-class conference centre.  

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