The programme would see the refurbishment of the 171 hotel rooms, bar and restaurant. A new 350-seater conference centre would also be constructed. Cresta is a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed conglomerate, TA Holdings.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony held at the hotel last week, group chief operations officer, Glen Stutchbury said they wanted to create a multi-purpose conference centre with a sitting capacity of 350 people.
“If you add the hotel facilities, gardens and ample parking, we believe we will have the perfect offering for conferences and events in Harare,” said Stutchbury.
The new centre is anticipated to improve the conference options available in Harare and make the city a more competitive destination for regional meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
“The project will be financed from funds borrowed from a local bank, which we will not disclose at the moment,” he said. Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi, applauded efforts by Cresta Zimbabwe to improve their infrastructure for the benefit of tourism. He said the group had taken advantage of current legislation which allowed tourism operators to import equipment duty-free.
“The impressive structure that Cresta are putting up is similar to what we as the government have planned to build in Victoria Falls for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly that we are excited to host next year,” Mzembi said.
Government is set to unveil an infrastructural fund meant to finance the sprucing up of the tourism products.
“We hereby encourage the use of this benefit and work with industry to get projects approved. I have often spoken to the private sector about standards and the need for us as hospitality players in Zimbabwe to improve our products and services,” he said.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry have in the past complained that the product was tired and needed to be freshened up. This has seen players undertaking major refurbishment works at its properties.