Property investment company Mashonaland Holdings Limited and Chinese tourism concern Touchroad International Holding Group have entered into a partnership which will see Harare getting its newest five star hotel.
The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding as they aim to convert the 61 year-old Charter House building along Samora Machel into an 80-room hotel with the aim of accommodating mainly Chinese tourists who will visit the country under the auspices of Touchroad International.
Managing Director of Mashonaland Holdings Limited Gibson Mapfidza revealed that at least $15 million will be sunk as investment by the Chinese company in renovating the building into a hotel.
The building, which was acquired by Mashonaland Holdings from Anglo-American in 2003, will have a helicopter pad complete with boutiques and other business ventures upon its inception expected to be in December this year.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) facilitated the deal.
Touchroad International representative He Liehui said they were lured into the country by the huge potential in the local tourism market.
“We want to make the the 61 year-old building a beautiful young lady. Our target is to bring thousands of Chinese tourists to Zimbabwe and use this hotel. We want to the early bird in Zimbabwe tourism because we believe Zimbabwe has a bright future and we responded to your President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) call that Zimbabwe is open for business,” he said.
Harare currently has a 2 371 room capacity and the coming of touchline will bring the number to 2451. ZTA chief operating officer Givemore Chidzidzi said the number still falls far short as compared to other regional cities such as Johannesburg of South Africa and Lusaka of Zambia.