ZIMSUN Leisure Group chief executive officer Shingi Munyeza says the group’s initiative into western and southern Africa is purely driven by the unique products it is offering.
“It depends on the product and brand you are offering and considering the brand we are offering, the group will hold its own against other regional players in western and southern Africa,” he said.
Munyeza said Zimsun was offering an international brand that would make an impact in the region.
TA Holdings Ltd has hotel concerns in Ghana and Botswana while Southern Sun International is a big player in South Africa.
Last week Zimsun issued a cautionary statement informing shareholders that it had entered into negotiations in West and Southern Africa.
The West African project has 130 rooms while the southern African project has 120 rooms.
Zimsun will provide management and expert skills in the two initiatives in West and southern Africa. “We will work with local property investors in the region,” said the Zimsun boss who is the President of the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (ZCT).
Munyeza said the period of negotiations in the two ventures would depend on their partners.
“I cannot tell you when we will finish the negotiations because it depends on our partners and all the stakeholders involved in the deal,” he said.
“It all depends on the approval of all the applications made to relevant authorities”.
The Zimsun boss said the group would still pursue its initiatives in East Africa where it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
“The Memorandum of Understanding allows us to do some fact finding and we are still pursuing the initiative,” he said.
“Western and Southern Africa have come to the negotiating table ahead of East Africa.”
Zimsun has over the past two years experienced changes which management believes is meant to meet challenges.
Top on the list was the rebranding exercise, which management says will reposition the group.
Zimsun last year unlocked shareholder value by spinning off Dawn Properties.
Dawn Properties owns the bulk of Zimsun Leisure hotels and it listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in September.
The group has established cooperation with Southern Sun International.
In 2002 Zimsun sent its staff at Elephant Hills to Southern Sun on an exchange programme.
The exchange programme facilitated the rebuilding of the hotel, which was gutted by fire in 2001.
Zimsun shares the same brand with Southern Sun.
Munyeza said the regional expansion was part of the group’s objective of spreading its tentacles.
“We want to be a big player in the region,” he said.
“It boosts earnings for the group as it generates much-needed foreign currency for the group as well as the country.
“No longer will we be seen as Zimsun because we are in Zimbabwe…We are a force to reckon with in the region,” he said.