Hard – hit tourism players take ‘revenge’ on Covid-19

By Wellington Zimbowa
ALTHOUGH still counting the Covi-19 induced financial hemorrhage, through lost business, with a taxing future lying ahead, the tourism sector looks ahead and determined to take a front-line role in equipping the country with resources to tame the scourge.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been calling for corporate and individual support to control the global pandemic, through medical staff capacitation, acquisition of drugs, sanitizers, among others.
Two of Zimbabwe’s biggest hoteliers, the Rainbow Towers Group (RTG) and Crown Plaza hotels have lent a hand in the fight against Covid-19 with donations to various centers across country, in individual donations, of key goods amounting to around $4 million put together, according to Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu.
These constitute linen, bedspreads, pillows and pillowcases, disinfectants, sanitizers and blankets.
“RTG was highly affected by Covid-19 in the sense of being on the frontline of travelling tourism in the industry.
“We therefore understand the importance of rebounding quickly from the scourge, therefore it was important that we stand by the President (Mnangagwa) and his taskforce (Covid-19 Taskforce),” said Rainbow Tourism Group managing director Tendai Madzivanyika at the recent handover ceremony, at State House.
He added that the group had been donating many goods right from the start of the pandemic with the recent one amounting to 8 200 linen pieces.
Previously, the group covered treatment and isolation centers in Kadoma, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, to cater for those homecoming Zimbabweans from the diaspora, who are only allowed to reunite with their families after screening.
African Sun managing director, Edwin Shangwa, also said although they are hardest hit as an industry, the onus to support government is the sector’s.
“We had a lot of business cancellations due to the pandemic, but we were the first to respond as a sector.
He added that besides Harare, Kadoma and Bulawayo they have also assisted the country to the tune of material valued at around RTGS$1.3 million, including assisting the setting up of the Victoria Falls isolation Center.

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