Story by Tichaona Kurewa
PRIME resort facility, Kingdom Hotel which closed its doors early this year, is set for re-opening soon according to the latest statement by its new owners, First Capital Bank.
The re-opening of the 294-roomed facility will be a massive boost to the country’s Tourism Recovery Plan and Growth Strategy.
The hotel which was then run by African Sun Limited closed its doors early this year after the operator surrendered the operating licence to the owners of the premises, First Capital Bank and Pension Fund.
This negatively impacted the room capacity in the resort city which was already struggling to meet accommodation demand, triggered by increasing appetite for the destination through meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.
The unavailability of the hotel, resulted in some delegates during big conferences seeking accommodation in neighbouring countries, depriving the country of the much needed foreign currency.
Officials from First Capital Bank told journalists recently in Victoria Falls that the property will be renovated to meet international standards before it re-opens.
“We are at the moment doing several things, we have a market study going on to understand where the market is in Victoria Falls, and we want to understand where we can position the hotel.
“We have the architect and various people inspecting the hotel giving us advice on what we should do, we then compile all that and we go to the market for a lease operator.
“We will go to the market for tenders in the third quarter of this year, we sincerely hope that the hotel will be back up and running and fully open with necessary investment in the first half of 2024, it will be a world-class hotel,” said First Capital Bank, Managing Director, Mr Ciaran McSharry.
Experts see tourism as a low-hanging fruit and the government has identified the tourism and hospitality sector under the National Development Strategy One, as one of the key pillars for the economy alongside agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
According to the NDS 1, one of the key strategies is to achieve tourism growth.
This will be achieved through, product development and diversification, market development and diversification, destination accessibility and tourism investment promotion.