THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) company plans to construct a five star hotel and convention centre, as part of efforts to diversify the Bulawayo based firm.
Speaking at the official opening of the ZITF exhibition showcase in Bulawayo recently, ZITF board chair, Ruth Ncube said the firm has since allocated 17 hectares of land for the ambitious project.
“Plans are on course for infrastructure expansion and diversification to cater for increasing appetite for more services at the ZITF. We envisage expanding our capacity by building an integrated infrastructure to offer a wide range of versatile, sophisticated and modernized facilities. This will include an 8000 sitter convention centre to match other centers in the region like Durban, Cape Town and Kigali conference centers and of course, a five star luxury hotel.
“We have therefore dedicated 17 hectares for these two projects. To this end, we have issued a detailed request for proposals for the commencement of the convention centre and the hotel, as part of our strategic development and modernization plan. The response to the proposals for commencement of work have been positive from local, regional and international markets,” she said.
Ncube said the expansion drive is aimed at enhancing capacity utilitisation of the Exhibition Park and positioning Bulawayo City, as a Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) hub. Ultimately, this is expected to complement the existing tourism operators in the city of Bulawayo, which is a stone throw away from Victoria Falls, Matopos and Hwange National Parks.
This comes at the backdrop of a hugely successful exhibition showcase, which saw ZITF attaining a historic space occupation of 110%, resulting in healthy cash flows for the company.
ZITF is also basking in the sun after it was recently awarded ISO certification by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).
Looking ahead, Ncube said the company will soon approach government for the granting of special economic zone status to the ZITF centre, which the firm believes is only befitting given the business traffic it generates on a yearly basis.