crown plaza hotel 07-09-10.jpgThe hospitality industry will meet at the end of this month for the first time in 3 years to discuss issues affecting their operations.


A similar congress which brought together players in the hotel industry was last held in 2007 when the country had a vibrant tourism sector.


However, due to sanctions induced economic challenges in the last few years, the industry was unable to hold its annual congress.


President-elect of the Hotel Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ), Ms Judy Jones said with the tourism sector beginning to show signs of recovery, it has become necessary for the industry to meet and discuss fundamental issues affecting operations.


“The issue of refocusing is really encompassing the total refocusing on hospitality. In terms of the challenges and the turbulent times we have had in the past few years, a lot of refocus had been overlooked on true African hospitality.


“The hospitality in Zimbabwe has always been renowned and the theme and aim of this congress is on refocus,” said Ms Jones.


haz president elect ms judy jones 07-09-10.jpgShe however said of great concern to the industry is the current liquidity crunch and deteriorating service characterised by rundown equipment and infrastructure.


According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zimbabwe will be one of the fastest growing tourism economies, hence the need for the industry to make preparations for an increase in tourist arrivals.
The HAZ congress will be held in Bulawayo from the 29th of September to the 1st of October under the theme “Regrouping And Refocusing: Back To Basics”.


The theme illustrates that the industry needs to revisit its operations and start providing quality services like it used to do considering that tourism is the country’s quick win sector which after a decade of massive decline is forecast to generate about US$1 billion in revenue this year.