THE Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (Haz) has elected its new presidium at its three-day annual congress, with the new president vowing to push for fresh investments into the sector.
At the conference, the Montclair Hotel and Casino general manager Brian Nyakutombwa was elected to become the new president of Haz for a two-year term.
Nyakutombwa is deputised by Emma Kativhu as the first vice-president and Kudzai Ratidzai as the second vice-president.
Nyakutombwa took over his new role from Farai Chimba.
Speaking to NewsDay Business last week at the Haz annual conference held in Nyanga, Nyakutombwa said old hotels like Montclair needed refurbishment to attract more tourists, but lack of investments and funding remained a challenge.
“We need money to construct rooms, the room stock in Zimbabwe is not adequate to handle the sort of business that we are advocating,” he said.
“We need funds to refurbish or upgrade existing establishments like Montclair … So, if we get capital, we are going to direct it into transforming the property so that it becomes an excellent product.”
Nyakutombwa added that the refurbishment of properties came in support of the association’s vision for next year, to create a vibrant sector.
“Our vision is to have a very lively and vibrant hospitality and tourism industry and for that to happen we have to have the right things in the right places. We need resources in the form of money, properly skilled people and customers who come through to support our business,” he said.
“This is why we came up with this year’s theme Harnessing investment for hospitality and tourism excellence because we are saying we need investment for various projects that will add value to our institutions.”
He said the sector wanted to create a conducive environment with good properties and ambience that were acceptable to tourists.
“We want a hotel, lodge or guest house that people can come to, and the ambience and aesthetics are modern, convenient and appeal to domestic and foreign customers who will see that it is exuding freshness and modernity,” Nyakutombwa said.
“Going forward, as an association, that is what we want to be focusing our energies on, to find investment so that we can be able to plough back and come out with excellent services. And, we want to work together with all our stakeholders that enable us to function.”