From the thezimbabwean.co.uk
By Ngoni Chanakira
29.06.2011

The Kingdom at Victoria Falls

Local and foreign arrivals into the Zimbabwean hotels of the African Sun
group are increasing, says Chief Executive Shingai Munyeza.

Occupancy so far this year is up by seven percent and 32 percent,
respectively, on last years figures.

Zimbabwe’s tourism had nose-dived during the past decade, mainly due to the
country’s poor macro-economic fundamentals. This was exacerbated recently by
talk of elections, which is scaring away not only tourists but potential
investors too.

Several countries had issued travel warnings against Zimbabwe.

“Airline seats have increased due to the introduction of additional flights
by regional carriers and this has ameliorated the impact of the disruption
in service by the national carrier, Air Zimbabwe,” Munyeza said.

He said the group’s hotels in South Africa had also witnessed an improvement
in occupancy, although at a much slower pace owing to a general over-supply
of hotel rooms.

“An additional 4 100 rooms were added to the Sandton and Rosebank area of
South Africa in the last two years,” he said.

“The increase in oil prices and the continued strengthening of the South
African Rand, which has made South Africa more expensive as a destination,
will continue to exert pressure on the pricing of regional packaged deals
that ordinarily include South Africa as part of their itinerary.”

Munyeza said the world travel industry had proven its resilience with an
unexpected rebound in 2010, following a lack-lustre performance in 2009 that
was heavily affected by the global economic recession.

“Global travel grew by five percent in 2010, powered by emerging markets,
with Africa recording eight percent growth,” he said.

African Sun Limited is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and has a
market capitalisation of $831 472 907.Its share price currently stands at
2c.

Revenue for the hotel group for the period ended March 31, 2011 amounted to
$27,74 million up from $26,06 million achieved in the previous period.

Munyeza said this was spurred by a strong revenue growth recorded in
Zimbabwe.