Beitbridge hard hit by hotel closures

THE closure of the Rainbow Tourism Group’s Beitbridge Hotel and African Sun’s Express Hotel in Beitbridge has had a negative impact on the development of the town, businessdigest has learnt.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

The RTG group closed its Beitbridge unit after it cost the group US$2 million in losses due to depressed occupancies. The Express Hotel closed for similar reasons.

Beitbridge town secretary Loud Ramakgapola told businessdigest last week that the closure of the two hotels had an adverse impact on the town’s development.

“The closure of the two hotels were a huge blow to the town,” Ramakgapola said. “ We used to have groups such as government ministries and non-governmental organisations having their meetings almost on a monthly basis, but that is no longer the case since the closure of the hotels.”

Ramakgapola said as a result of the closure of the hotels, the National Association of School Heads, which had planned to hold its conference in Beitbridge which would have had huge spin-offs for the town, then held their conference in Victoria Falls.

He said that the council was battling to secure a venue that will accommodate about 150 guests for its meetings.
“The closure of the hotels has a domino effect,” Ramakgapola noted.“ Guests who would stay at these hotels would also spend money for other services and this would benefit the council because it would mean that businesses and individuals who have benefitted from those staying in the town will be able to pay their rates.”

The National Social Security Authority (Nssa) is seeking buyers or tenants for its US$49 million Beitbridge Hotel amid indications the fund has so far received potential proposals from different hotel groups, churches and individuals who want the hotel.

Nssa chairman Robin Vela last month told businessdigest that the authority is trying to get the best deal.

“We are very much in a hurry to find the best offer as we are time conscious and understand that every day that we are not earning a return we lose money,” said Vela.

Top