Africa Albida Tourism has recorded its best July in nine years at its flagship establishment Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, with the property as well as The Boma – Place of Eating recording increased bookings.
Ross Kennedy, chief executive, says, “At Victoria Falls Safari Lodge we’ve had the best July occupancy in nine years at a 70% increase, and at the Boma Place of Eating, only July 2007 had seen better covers. 2007 showed 183 covers per night and July 2011 delivered 163 per night. This result is fantastic and everyone’s hard work at the lodge to maintain an excellent standard in service and delivery has certainly paid off.”
From seven hotels and 1 008 rooms measured, arrivals into the destination are up by 20% compared to the same seven months from January to July last year. Kennedy says: “This translates to 63 rooms per night, with a total of 13 193 extra rooms being occupied over the same period in 2010. And forward bookings to year end are vey positive, with occupancies forecast at between 75% and 86%, which is 22% up from 2010.”
According to Glenn Stutchbury, MD and Zimbabwe Council for Tourism board member, more than 70% of hotels had their best July since 2000, and in some cases, July was amongst their best three or four months ever. “The August to November period is looking extremely good with even greater occupancies forecast, taking into account current reservations and enquiries, with reports of 80% plus on final booking possibilities.”
AAT has also reported that average room rates and revenue per available room are rising in tandem, which it says means increased economic and downstream benefits would follow. “Transfers, activities, restaurants, national parks, curio sellers, fuel stations, supermarkets, hotel suppliers and all tourism industry related industries close knit to these operations are all expected to see a direct upswing in revenue, together with Zimbabwe Tourism Association collecting larger tourism levy receipts from all operating hotels.”