Cresta invests US$11,5m in Ghana, Malawi


Ngoni Chanakira

THE Cresta Hospitality group is investing about US$11,5 million in two hotels in Ghana and Malawi as part of its regional expansion programme.



ONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Cresta operates hotels and lodges in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.


In an interview Cresta projects and operations director Francis Ngwenya said the group would be opening the US$7,5 million four-star Cresta Royale Hotel in Accra, Ghana on September 1.


The group would also refurbish and reopen another US$4 million four-star hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi in October.


“All these will be operated using management contracts,” Ngwenya said.

“We intend to go the regional route because we have failed to market our products and are the first to say so.”


Asked why they had decided to invest in Ghana, Ngwenya said the group believed West Africa was a huge market needing to be explored.


“This provides a stepping stone for us to get into the region,” he said. “We have adopted a Pan African expansionary mode and are targeting Ecowas (Economic Community for West African States).”


He said Malawi was also a growing market, which was being frequented by several businessmen because of the vast tourism sites and unexplored opportunities available in that country.


Meanwhile the Cresta group has refurbished its Mowana Safari Lodge in Botswana in a move meant to attract the Zimbabwean community.


Mowana has 112 luxury rooms, conference facilities, and game viewing activities.


Group sales and marketing manager Norman Moyo told invited guests to the company’s launch on Tuesday night that there had been various changes at Mowana Safari Lodge.


Moyo said: “The changes included the firing of the previous general manager. Our business was just bad and we were not achieving what we had aimed the place to be like. We now have a new sales team and will be reshuffling some members of staff in order to ensure that we get returns on our investment.”


He said the main problems at Mowana were lack of service improvement, and a decline in business and opportunities for growth.


He said to attract Zimbabwean executives they could pay their rates in local currency because of the serious foreign currency situation in the country.


The money would be paid at Cresta’s Harare offices.

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