Zimbabwe’s average hotel room occupancy levels rose by a marginal 2 percent to 41 percent during the first half of the year compared to the 39 percent recorded during the same period last year.
According to statistics released by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Victoria Falls experienced the highest growth in bed occupancies of 23 percent to 51 percent during the period under review. In terms of room occupancies the resort town recorded a increase of 21 percent to 56 percent from 35 percent recorded during the first half of 2012.
“It is worth noting that the improvement in connectivity resulting from the resumption of Air Zimbabwe flights between Victoria Falls and Harare/Johannesburg is another major factor leading to the improved performance of the resort during the first half of the year,” said ZTA.
The tourism body said notable increases were recorded in Victoria Falls and Midlands along with Hwange, Nyanga and Bulawayo which had modest increases.
“Increases in Victoria Falls during the first half of the year were to a certain caused by the clients rescheduling their intended bookings to earlier in the year, so as to avoid the ‘hustle and bustle’ connected with UNWTO General Assembly in the second half of the year.
|Fast facts about Hotel rooms occupancy levels:|
|Average hotel room occupancy levels||Rise in 2%|
|Percentage during first half of the year 2013||41%|
|Highest growth in bed occupancies||23% to 51% – Victoria Falls|
|Most increases in Zimbabwe||Vic Falls, Hwange, Nyanga, Bulawayo|
“It is also worth noting that the improvement in connectivity resulting from the resumption of Air Zimbabwe flights between Victoria Falls and Harare/Johannesburg is another major factor leading to the improved performance of the resort during the first half of the year,” the ZTA said.
The Midlands province had been very suppressed for a long time. However, as a result of hosting increasing conferences and the increasing popularity of the Midlands Agricultural Show, occupancies have seen an increase in that region.
ZTA said the general lack of capacity in the region, which only has 314 rooms, contributed largely to the favourable room occupancy. However, Harare and Masvingo recorded significant decline in occupancies and this has been attributed to reduced conferencing activities during the first half of 2013 as compared to 2012 which was dominated by constitution-making activities, a spillover from 2011.
“The national average hotel bed occupancy level fell by 5 percentage points (despite having increased in room occupancy levels) with the greatest decline being registered by Masvingo (-28 percentage points).
“According to tourism operators in this region, this is largely due to decreased conferencing activities during the period,” ZTA said.
Bulawayo registered a marginal decline of 2 percent in bed occupancies from 35 percent last year to 33 percent this year. Therefore, Bulawayo recorded an increase in room occupancies of 3 percent signalling a possible increase in business rather than clientele in these areas.
“With the rejuvenation of the country’s major markets, arrivals into Zimbabwe are expected to ride on this positive trend throughout the year,” said ZTA.
On the other hand, the average hotel bed occupancy levels, contracted by 5 percentage points from 37 percent in last year to 32 percent this year.
Date: 9 September 2013