RTG revenue crumbles 66 percent in 2020, counter reduced to one of the worst performing this year

  • Revenue fell by ZW$2.1 billion
  • Occupancy dropped by 21 percentage points
  • Counter lost 1 percent of value

Harare – Hotelier and tourism management company, Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) has reported a 66 percent decline in revenue and a fall in occupancy by 21 percentage points for the year ended December 31, 2020 as a result of the prolonged hard-hitting effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

The same pinch of COVID-19 saw the company’s counter and those of other players in the hospitality sector being pushed down into the list of the worst performing stocks this year as investor confidence waivered.

Total revenue, in inflation adjusted terms fell from ZW$3.2 billion recorded in the same period in 2019 to ZW$1.1 billion in the period under review.

Complementarily, occupancy was recorded at an average of 26 percent in the year ended December 31, 2020 as compared to 47 percent in the same period in 2019.

Stocks wise, while the overall market saw a 71 percent growth in the first quarter of this year, the RTG counter lost 1 percent of its value compared to an average surge of 1222 percent in the whole of 2020 and a 38 percent growth for industry mate African Sun in the first quarter.

The company is of the notion that even though cases in Zimbabwe were relatively low, the terrible COVID-19 situation in South Africa which included the country having the most cases of any other country on the continent and the emergence of a new variant of the virus within their borders, had a direct bearing on the situation in Zimbabwe as the country is the center of tourism into Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Heightened cases of COVID-19 in South Africa meant the disruption of international arrivals into sub-Saharan Africa. This is due to the fact that South Africa remains the hub of tourism into the region. The effects of these disruptions led to closure of the Victoria Falls market as well as reduced numbers into city hotels

 Although the restrictions were gradually lifted in South Africa as well as in Zimbabwe during the year, the fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic created great caution among travellers resulting in reduced business and leisure travel,” group board chairman, Arthur Manase said in a report accompanying the results.

It is against this background that tourism players are hailing government’s vaccination programme which is set to reestablish traveler and investor confidence.

The UNWTO is confident that worldwide tourism will bounce back in the second half of the year, after falling by an average of 87 percent in January 2021, on the back of inoculation campaigns although having outlined two different scenarios under which the rebound will take place mainly based on the outturn of these campaigns.

“The first scenario points to a rebound in July, which would result in a 66% increase in international arrivals for the year 2021 compared to the historic lows of 2020. In this case, arrivals would still be 55% below the levels recorded in 2019.

The second scenario considers a potential rebound in September, leading to a 22% increase in arrivals compared to last year. Still, this would be 67% below the levels of 2019,” they said in their latest World Tourism Barometer.

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