Hotel Division Embarks On Rebranding Exercise

1 March 2010

(Herald 1-3-2010)

CRESTA Hospitality Zimbabwe, a division of TA Holdings Limited, has embarked on rebranding exercise, that will see the hotel division penetrating the region.

The rebranding commenced in Botswana, which is the largest operation within the Cresta Hospitality brand.

Cresta Hospitality Zimbabwe managing director Mrs Judy Jones said the new corporate identity is the result of a transformation process of both the product and service levels.

"Strategically, our group has embarked on a migration path for Cresta Hospitality Zimbabwe, in order to move to the new brand platform.

"Over the next two years, we would be making significant investments to upgrade our hotels," said Mrs Jones.

She added that the group would place more emphasis on repatriation of skills following the brain drain, employee training and development and upgrading technology such as reservation systems.

The desire by Zimbabwean companies to rebrand reflects a desire to become free of the shackles of an economy in crisis. Cresta's rebranding typifies a fresh wave of rebranding that has gripped the country, with companies adopting new identities in their quest for expansion.

Africa First ReNaissance (Afre) Corporation, formerly First Mutual Limited Corporation, and African Sun Limited formerly Zimbabwe Sun Limited rebranded in 2008.

Dropping the Zimbabwean identity was in line with its pursuit for continental glory, which has seen it embarking on expansion projects across Africa.

Mrs Jones said the rebranding journey would be the catalyst for growth, both locally and regionally.

Cresta Hospitality operates nine hotels in Botswana, four in Zimbabwe and one in Nigeria through a management contract.

Mrs Jones said the major challenge to the industry would be raising the necessary funding to upgrade and improve facilities in line with global trends.

Other stakeholders such as Government are facing the same challenges when trying to upgrade infrastructure such as the road network to increase accessibility, and other facilities such as health and telecommunications.

"As an industry, we are committed to working closely with all stakeholders, be it Government or the financial sector, in order to ensure that the hospitality and tourism industries play their rightful role in economic recovery," said Mrs Jones.

Analysts say the emergence of new brands could accelerate during the current year, with more companies sprucing up their images or merging to consolidate their market share to mitigate the risks associated with operating in a volatile environment.