Be innovative, hospitality industry players urged

THE newly elected Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) president George Manyumwa has urged players in the industry to include new business models and use ICT to enhance business efficiency.

hospitality-assoc-of-Zimbabwe-baynham-goredemaManyumwa who is the Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) operations director was elected at the association’s congress last week in Mutare. Manyumwa takes over from Tamuka Macheka who was at the helm of the association in the previous term. Macheka now becomes a board member in the HAZ council of elders. Innocent Manyera from the CUT group of Hotels and Naume Saize were elected first and second vice presidents respectively.

In an interview with The Zimbabwean on the sidelines of the congress that ended last Saturday, Manyumwa said there great need for the players in the hospitality sector to be innovative and come up with new business models as well as exploring ICT solutions to achieve their goals. “As an association we will look at ideas on how to create new ideas and markets. We will also enhance the issue of human capital development and assist hospitality operators,” said Manyumwa.

“Obviously as an association we want to ensure the visibility of tourism as one of the economic pillars of the economy,” he added. He said the major of objective of HAZ was to create awareness of the hospitality industry and its national significance.
“The association wants to represent the industry on government policy issues and to encourage the right environment for growth of the industry,” Manyumwa said. He added that the association will work hand in hand with its members and inform them on relevant legislation, regulations and topical issues to enable them to make informed decisions.

“We will also liaise with sup-pliers and make sure that the industry is adequately serviced and equipped. We want promote professional standards and provide training for members to enhance operational efficiencies and guest satisfaction levels,” Manyumwa explained. He said although Zimbabwe has been facing economic challenges and the hospitality industry in particular there was need to innovate ways to mitigate against the avalanche of challenges.

“I suggest that the challenges we are facing call for revolutionary as opposed to evolutionary change. If we honestly benchmark our products and their offerings with global best-practice, we have to innovate with intensity to be relevant and not lag behind as a nation,” he said.

Manyumwa said the HAZ Winter School that has been successfully held over the past two years and the setting up of an e-learning platform will also help to achieve the goals of the association. The hospitality industry is faced with a number of challenges among them old and obsolete infrastructure and equipment, expensive product and lack of skilled personnel.

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