Homeowners in Bulawayo are out to make a killing as accommodation demand has risen sharply in the city. This is because of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which roars into life on 23rd April 2019.

Due to the influx of investors and other stakeholders, hotels and lodges are fully booked. This is despite the fact that many have complained that hotel rates are exorbitant. Rates in most hotels around the city are well over RTGS$1 000 a night for a single room. But, there are only three conventional hotels in Bulawayo. These are Holiday Inn, Rainbow Hotel and Cresta Churchill. This shortage in accommodation has left a gap which homeowners are happy to plug. They will give up some of their bedrooms to tenants during ZITF.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, ZITF Company Chairperson Ruth Ncube said,” The accommodation, which is being offered by Bulawayo residents at their homes, is amazing. Of course, people are complaining about the accommodation at hotels, but there is no shortage of alternative accommodation in the city. Our partner Ecological Safaris and Travel is assisting us to seek comfortable accommodation for visitors and we are looking forward to a number of homeowners realising substantial revenue from letting out their rooms.”

While accommodation has always been an issue during ZITF for years, this year’s showcase has attracted unprecedented numbers. Exhibition space has run out and organisers have had to pitch tents in order to accommodate 100 more exhibitors. Halls which went unused in the last four or five years have also been refurbished and converted to exhibition space. This makes this year’s edition the biggest since ZITF started in 1959.

Bulawayo will surely be a hive of activity this coming week. Because of this, several businesses in and around the city are likely to record brisk business. Homeowners will also smile all the way to the bank.