Listed hospitality and leisure group, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG)’s revenue plunged 66% to ZWL$1.1bn in the 12 months to December 31, 2020 from ZWL$3.2bn reported in the previous year due to closure of hotels in in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
Occupancies for RTG, which operates the Rainbow Towers, the New Ambassador Hotel, the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, Kadoma Hotel & Conference Centre, the Victoria Falls Rainbow Hotel and A’Zambezi River Lodge, dropped to 26% in the year under review from 47% reported in 2019.
Gross margins closed at 69% from 76% reported in 2019.
Despite the ravages of Covid-19, EBITDA margins, however, grew 31%, due to various cost reduction initiatives adopted by the group in response to lower business volumes.
RTG chairman, Arthur Manase said the operating environment was volatile due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which adversely impacted the tourism sector.
Manase said the group was sustained by city hotels following the closure of Victoria Falls hotels during the reviewed period.
The group, however, has positioned itself as a tech-driven business. The firm configured its Gateway Steam mobile and web application.
“The group continued to be resilient in the face of significant uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Manase said.
He added: “ At a time when the tourism industry faced headwinds arising from the pandemic, the group’s fundamentals remained strong. Our efficient and lean organisational structure, built through business restructuring processes as undertaken over the past several years, prepared the group to adapt to the obtaining environment. By the time Covid-19 spread, RTG had already positioned itself as a tech- driven business and had undergone three years of development in this area. With the advent of Covid-19, the group quickly configured the Gateway Stream mobile and web application in recognition of the significant shift in consumer behaviour that moved the market to adopt online commerce.”
Manase is, however, upbeat of positive performance going forward as the Group will continue to explore various opportunities presented through its digitalisation initiatives driven by the Gateway Stream.
”The group continues to prepare for the inevitable rebound of the travel and tourism sector by continuing to recruit rooms and activities across Africa onto the Gateway Stream platform. Many travel and tourism players will require visibility when the industry rebounds.
The Gateway Stream seeks to be a significant player in that space alongside global e-commerce giants that provide access to hospitality and leisure products.,” Manase said.
He added: “The group will continue to explore the various opportunities presented through its digitisation initiatives as driven by the Gateway Stream.
Through the web and mobile application, the group will provide a unified global diversified commercial ecosystem, one that creates ownership of markets with multiple, perpetual residual cash flow streams. These opportunities are all supported by the multi-app architecture of the Gateway Stream.”