Zimbabwe - Harare
Known as “a world of wonders” in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe welcomes more than two million tourists a year, Although tourism contributes 10.4% to the GDP of the country, the tourism market remains underdeveloped. Most of the major infrastructures are outdated and roads need to be upgraded. Political unrest and violent strikes shake the country and many Zimbabweans have left their homeland. Hotel supply has not grown for the past five years and is mostly made of local unbranded properties that struggle to adapt to the needs of international tourists. Harare lacks international hotel brands which would bring quality and expertise to the current tourism landscape. However, the country has a real potential to grow its tourism activity. The level of occupancy has been increasing since 2014, proving a rebound in demand from international tourists. While ADR and REVPAR are down, owing to the competitiveness of bordering countries, the picture may change quickly. Indeed, global hospitality brands have started showing interest in the nation. Carlson Rezidor recently announced the opening of a Radisson Blu Hotel in Harare in 2019, and it will certainly encourage competitive brands to enter the market.
Investors are increasingly considering Zimbabwe for investment. Capital investments are expected to rise by 4.8% per year over the next ten years. China is being a precious ally: President Xi Jinping confirmed multi-billion investments in energy and infrastructure and the cancellation of US$40 million in debt in exchange of the yuan becoming Zimbabwe's international currency. This should push the number of business tourists from China in need for a hotel room. The government will need to tackle significant challenges in the next few years to be able to take advantage of this increasing demand, get the ADR back to previous level and boost hotels' values on the market. Harare will be significantly impacted by the political and economical crisis in 2016. The demand goes primarily to Livingstone and the Victoria Falls, but the corporate guests are not keen to visit Harare at the moment bringing occupancy down. The 6% deflation significantly impacts the average rate. Hotels' values are expected to drop to their lowest level since 2010, at US$104,000, representing a 17.6% decrease.