from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – AFTER an investment of US$5 million refurbishment exercise done during successive COVID-19 lockdowns, the Stanley and Livingstone Hotel Boutique in Victoria Falls has reopened.
Ahead of its reopening last Friday, more than half of its 16 luxury suites, mostly targeting high-end clients, had been snapped up.
There are also specials to cater for low—end bookings.
The hotel offers a 30-percent discount to clients during the reopening period.
“We are re- launching as we reopen our facility. We are on 60 percent occupancy as we open,” said owner, Robert More.
The More family operates a chain of hotels in South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands.
Robert More was speaking at a cocktail organized to announce the re-opening at Stanley and Livingstone.
Its resumption makes the most of the industry gradually opening up after the Zimbabwe government removed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirements and mandatory quarantine on arrival.
Various facilities have been reopening albeit, previously, with low business following a two-year low business period caused by COVID-19.
The period culminated in many operators in the sector closing shop and terminating contracts of workers.
“This is not just reopening for us but reopening of the whole industry. Operators had reduced staff complements and reopening will mean people will regain their jobs,” More said.
Wengai Nhau, Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe president, said removal of the PCR requirements and reopening of the industry were long overdue.
“There is a need to pick pieces,” Nhau said.
The More Family took over Stanley and Livingstone in 2017.
The hotel also offers a wide range of activities including game drives, interaction with animals and the rhino.
It is the only sanctuary with the endangered species in Victoria Falls, hence giving clients a complete Big Five experience.
Refurbishment work targeted all interior rooms as well as the main arena which was knocked down to replace concrete walls with glass.
The More collection also includes Lion Sands Game Reserve, Marataba Game Reserve, Ursula’s Homestead, Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel and More
Quarters Neighbourhood Hotel, all in South Africa.
– CAJ News