Zimbabwe: Hospitality Industry Hit Hard By COVID-19

The hospitality industry is one of the sectors significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with operations down to as little as 10 percent of usual capacity.

With the situation this bad, players in the industry have been left with a tough decision to turn away some of the few customers who resist giving their personal information at the entrance as per requirement.

Village Inn general manager Mr Nhemias Gurajena said hotels in the tourist resort town of Nyanga were solely relying on domestic visitors as those coming in for leisure were now few and far between.

“The predicament we are in is that during this period, we are relying on domestic tourism since we do not have any international visitors coming through. This domestic tourism is influenced from the NGOs that are coming to have their Covid-19 trainings and other workshops as well as a few people that are coming out for leisure. The pandemic has affected the spending capacity of many people so the few that are coming already feel that they are important and they are doing you a favour by coming through. The last thing they want is to be harassed at the entrance,” he said.

Hotels are requesting personal information including age, where a visitor is coming from, their address and contact details.

Mr Gurajena said it was necessary to have all the information as it would assist the Ministry of Health and Child Care to make follow ups should there be a Covid-19 positive case among the guests.

“Our security guy at the gate has met quite a bit of resistance from some guests and he has had to turn them away after they refused to comply with policy. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions, we only admit those that have been screened and have provided their information, even if it means losing some much needed clientele,” he said.

Mr Gurajena said hotels were operating with limited staff to minimise costs and the future was looking gloomy.

He said if the lockdown was tightened further, it might negatively affect the little business they had going.

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