Walter Muchinguri and Thupeyo Muleya in Beitbridge
THE National Social Security Authority’s US$22 million state of the art hotel in the border town of Beitbridge is now open. The project which was funded by NSSA and constructed as part Government’s National Economic Development Programme has since been handed over to the Rainbow Tourism Group.
The two storey Rainbow Beitbridge Hotel was opened on January 15 soon after the completion of construction work. The opening of the RBH brings to five the total of hotels in the border town.
RTG corporate communications manager Mrs Eltah Sanangura said they had settled for a soft opening ahead of the official opening which has been set for later this year.
“This is a new facility that is accepting guests for the first time. We want to have time to assess operations before the official opening hopefully in the second quarter of this year,” she said.
She added that the facility has already been assessed by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, which will soon give it a star rating.
“We have been looking at a three-star but we are waiting to hear from ZTA. Possibly the rating might be higher,” she said.
RBH general manager Mr Innocent Kufa, who took journalists on a tour of the facility, was upbeat about the prospects of the hotel although it is yet to offer full services.
“We have limited staff complement because most of the hotel is tiled and most of the equipment that we are using is modern so we require less staff.
“For instance where staff normally does 12 rooms at other hotels; here we can do 20 rooms with the same number of staff,” he said.
He said the opening of the new hotel had also helped create employment in the area.
He also said currently they were training 40 people from Beitbridge on various hotel management skills and will be issued with certificates at the end of a three weeks course.
Mr Kufa said all the hotel’s 140 rooms are now operational, as well as all the four conference rooms, casino and kitchen.
“We have already hosted a number of groups in our conference facilities and we are expecting to host more and our 30 seater Mopani conference centre will be our cash cow,” he said.
The hotel also houses NSSA office and two commercial banks Stanbic and FBC. However the hotel is awaiting delivery of some furniture and equipment to operationalise some of its bars, the gym and laundry mart.
The laundry mart, according to Mr Kufa will not only serve the hotel but the Beitbridge community and other hotels and lodges within the border town.
The hotel is using both solar and electricity and a backup generator. The hotel also has a water reservoir that can sustain the hotel for five days if supplies are interrupted.