Zimsun shifts marketing focus

Staff Writer

ZIMSUN Leisure group has launched a massive marketing strategy for its hotels that have been hit by the bad international perception that has affected Zimbabwe’s tourism industry in the past fou

r years.


The leisure group has embarked on a major drive to lure local corporates and individuals to its former cash-cow hotel, Hwange Safari Lodge.


This is part of the group’s efforts to counter the reduction in international tourist arrivals in the country.


The lodge, situated in the centre of Hwange, is one of the major victims of Zimbabwe’s poor perception in Europe and other traditional markets.


About five years ago the hotel enjoyed brisk business owing to international tourists. It was one of the major contributors to Zimsun buoyed by its stature on the international tourism market.


Zimbabwe’s crisis has seen a sudden plunge in the hospitality business.

The lodge has begun an aggressive marketing strategy to revive its fortunes.


General manager Leonard Chihwayi said due to the negative perception about Zimbabwe they have since started to focus on local business, especially conferencing.


“A few years ago we used to be a cash-cow for Zimsun. We relied immensely on the international market. Now we are looking at the domestic market,” said Chihwayi.


He told journalists on a tour of Zimsun Leisure properties that the 106-room hotel would also concentrate on conferencing business where the margins are slightly firm.


“We are going to push for workshops, team-building and strategic meetings especially for large groups,” said Chihwayi.


He said the hotel had the capacity to accommodate large groups.

The property is situated 11km from the main road and well-placed for game viewing.


Last year Hwange Safari Lodge was transferred from Zimsun to Dawn Properties, a listed firm which now owns the bulk of the Zimsun Leisure properties in Zimbabwe.