Nqobile Tshili, columnist
A NEW hotel is set to be built in Bulawayo after local authorities granted an international hotel group, Radisson Group of Hotels, permission to build the hotel.
Consultations have been ongoing since 2019 when Mkhuze Global on behalf of Radisson Group of Hotels indicated interest in building a hotel in the city.
The council said the hotel will be built on a three-hectare plot located between the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Center and the Bulawayo Golf Club.
Radisson Hotel Group has more than 1,400 hotels worldwide, including countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria, among others.
Bulawayo is short of more than 2,000 hotel beds and this deficit becomes more pronounced when the city hosts major events such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) among other business events.
The council said the proposed hotel should be no less than 3,000m2.
The council has publicly stated that building a hotel in the city will have a positive impact on Bulawayo’s economy as it will help attract major conferences and also create jobs for locals.
“Bulawayo Township Booth 18637, as shown on TPA 1978/1, measuring 3.08 hectares, will be leased to Mkhuze Global on behalf of the Radisson Group at a recommended monthly rent of US$1,500 or equivalent of ZW$ subject to review at the discretion of the council for the establishment of a hotel.
The minimum building clause is 3,000m2,” read the latest council minutes.
The council said the lease will be for an initial period of 50 years and will be reviewed thereafter.
“Candidates may request to negotiate a sale price as soon as possible,” read the minutes.
The council said part of the condition of the land allotment is that non-title survey fees must be used when requested.
“The stand can only be occupied after the installation of approved sanitary and sanitary facilities.
All development on the stand must be in accordance with approved plans and relevant municipal regulations.
The hotel must be registered with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority before commencing operations,” the minutes read.
Bulawayo councilors have welcomed the decision to grant the international hotel group permission to build a hotel which they say will boost the city’s ability to host major conferences and business events.
The General Affairs Manager of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Mr. Godfrey Koti, said it was pleasing to hear that the international hotel group was keen to invest in the country.
He said it proves that the government’s mantra that Zimbabwe is “open for business” is paying off.
“We are happy to hear that an international investor wants to build a hotel in Bulawayo.
This is a welcome development in the tourism sector.
Our hotel accommodation has not been sufficient in many towns and villages, so this development is welcome.
These investments are also in line with the National Development Strategy1 (NDS1). This means that we have been able to present the country as a safe destination and also as a prime investment destination,” Mr. Koti said.
He said there was a need for more players to join the industry for it to grow.
The construction of a new hotel comes at a time when the council is working to transform Bulawayo into a smart city.
The establishment of solar farms, vehicle assembly plants, new shopping malls, bonded warehouses, industrial parks and an integrated modern transport system are among the ambitious smart city goals on which works the local authority. –@nqotshili