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Local hotel group expands to DRC

 ONE of the countrys leading hotel chains, Rainbow Tourism Group Accor will soon expand its services to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

ONE of the countrys leading hotel chains, Rainbow Tourism Group Accor will soon expand its services to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The group is expected to inject at least $10 billion for the refurbishment of the Government-owned Caribbea Bay Hotel in Lubumbashi.

Under the deal, which has been sanctioned by the Zimbabwe Government and the Democratic Republic of Congo, RTG Accor will also provide management services at the hotel.

Addressing journalists in Harare this week, Environment and Tourism Minister, Mr Francis Nhema said the deal was hatched during some of the regular discussions between officials from the two sister countries who sit on the bilateral joint commission.

"One of the commissions briefs is to explore areas of co-operation with a view of improving the welfare of our people.

"During some of the discussions, the Caribbea Hotel project cropped up and Zimbabwe and the DRC agreed to develop the tourism centre.

"We then invited RTG Accor group to participate in the project. Since then, a few delegations have visited the two countries so as to kick-start the project, he said.

Mr Nhema challenged local business people to take advantage of the new hotel by staying at the Caribbea Bay Hotel while on a visit to Lubumbashi.

RTG Accor chairman Dr Ibbo Mandaza said the hotel group has embarked on a regional expansion initiative in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) for some time and was excited about the Caribbea Bay Hotel project.

"When the opportunity arose, RTG Accor responded promptly. We immediately dispatched a technical team to assess the situation and we are confident that we will be the first company in the tourism sector to fly the flag in Lubumbashi, he said.

Dr Mandaza said the two parties were already working on the requirements of the hotel and refurbishment would commence once all the details of the project had been finalised.

The head of the DRC delegation, Mr Jean Marie Anzelia, said his government was eagerly waiting for the deal to go through.

He said Zimbabwe was well-known for its management and technical expertise in the area of tourism.

"In DRC, we have a potential number of tourism areas. We would like to see more Zimbabwean companies entering into partnerships with their counterparts in the DRC for the development of the tourism sector in the region, he said.



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