Business

Hwange Safari Lodge Gets US$4,2m Facelift

Hospitality company, African Sun has completed the refurbishment of 100 rooms at Hwange Safari Lodge for US$4,2 million, under the initial phase of a three-stage facelift programme for the facility.

The completion of the first phase of the refurbishment exercise marks a significant stride in the company’s commitment to enhancing its hotel properties.

“In line with our vision to deliver value to guests, we remain focused on our strategy to upscale the state of our hotel properties through our ongoing refurbishment programs. The first phase – US$4,2 million Hwange Safari Lodge (HSL) 100 rooms’ refurbishment is now complete,” African Sun said in a trading update for the third quarter ended September 30, 2023.

The hotelier said the attention has turned to the second phase of the exercise, focussing on revitalizing public areas before commencing a similar program at Elephant Hills Resort and Conference Centre in Victoria Falls.

Driven by its desire to provide world-class service to guests, African Sun continues to align its strategy with sustainable and responsible tourism, ensuring Hwange Safari Lodge remains a globally sought-after facility.

As Zimbabwe’s tourism rebounds, experts view the timing of the refurbishment as opportune, amid expectations for a rebound to 80 to 95 percent of pre-pandemic foreign visitor levels by the first quarter of 2024.
The company’s financials reflect a positive trend, following revenue of US$37 million in the first nine months of 2023, a 13 percent increase from the comparative period.
“This growth is attributed to a 21 percent rise in the average daily room rate and a three percent increase in occupancy, reaching 48 percent. The hotel segment is on track for a full return to pre-pandemic levels, matching 2019’s full-year occupancy by September 2023,” the company said.

The group’s liquidity remained robust, presenting opportunities for financial leveraging in the months ahead. The ability to finance ongoing refurbishment initiatives from internally generated cashflows further highlighted the strength of the business’s cash-generating capacity.

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