Extension of operating hours expected to spur business recovery

By Stanley James, Business Editor

THE local hospitality industry has commended government for extending business operating hours, saying the move will spur recovery of the sector.

This Tuesday, Cabinet removed the midnight to dawn curfew and extended the operating hours of players in the hospitality sector from 8am to 3am.

The move has excited players in the hospitality sector.

“If you look at the challenges that we encountered as a sector you will find that the move is really a welcome development as it will ignite confidence and restore profitability,” said Dr Emmanuel Fundira, African Sun Ltd Chairman.

“I think while this is really commendable, we anticipate a further review of the initiative to a full 24 hours so that we are really in the full gear to recovery,” noted Dr Ignatius Matungamire, Hospitality Sector Services Provider.

Rainbow Towers Group Spokesperson, Mrs Pride Khumbula also welcomed the development, noting the difficult spell the industry had been under.

“This really spells hope for better times in terms of the future  and outlook given the hardships that we experienced during the COVID-19 era and how we intend to revive operations,” she said.

The industry is also hopeful that with the easing of Covid-19 infections and restrictions, viability will be restored.

The sector has been rendered as key to the recovery of the economy in terms of employment creation.

It has also resolved to continue focusing on modalities towards enhancing the viability of operations through massive upgrading of facilities.

While most entities in the sector had shelved plans to expand, it is the current trends characterised by a rebound in foreign tourist arrivals that have also restored viability.

 Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed hospitality counters recently revealed their modest financial results characterised by above market expectation profits despite Covid-19 setbacks.

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