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Tendai Madziwanyika, RTG Chief Executive

Business

RTG optimistic on digitalisation strategy as Covid-19 vaccination raises hopes

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Hospitality concern Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) is optimistic that its digitalisation strategy will enable future growth while positioning the firm on a competitive footing.

The hotel group was hard hit by the current Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns imposed last year, prompting a 61% after-tax profit decline during the period ended 31 December 2020.

During the period, revenue went down 66% to ZW$1.1 billion, reflective of the challenges experienced during the year due to Covid-19.

Occupancy for the year under review closed at 26% compared to 47% recorded in the prior year.

But speaking to The NewsHawks this week, RTG chief executive Tendai Madziwanyika expressed hope for a swift recovery on the back of the massive Covid-19 vaccination programmes being rolled out globally.

“We have already started to see a rebound of the industry. We are encouraged by the domestic performances where there is a real uplift in activity and general productivity in the country as we are beginning to see domestic business replace foreign business,” he said.

The RTG boss said the group’s greatest opportunity lies in the digitalisation strategy through the Gateway Stream mobile and web application anchored on the belief that the future is digital.

“We are poised for growth as demonstrated by the increase in activity on the platform. Our tour operations business, Heritage Expeditions Africa (HExA), is also showing potential. Whilst we wait for the return of tourism activity to the 2019 levels, we are confident that these strategies will help in generating revenue for the company,” he said.

He said, to date, 2 500 local artistes have registered on Gateway Stream Music, with a total of 22 900 songs from 3 000 Albums which include the likes of Jah Prayzah, Janet Manyowa and Winky D having signed up on the application.

“This is the first phase of the launch; we will be going beyond our borders soon to register artistes from the continent. Gateway Stream is a super-app with multiple revenue channels. In 2020, we activated the online shopping channel mostly driven by groceries and hardware where we can deliver to any part of the country.

“This new channel has become very popular and is doing very well. The shift in consumer buying behaviour to online purchases as necessitated by the advent of Covid-19 and our guaranteed promise to deliver within 24 hours has positioned the Gateway Stream online shopping as a top earner,” said Madziwanyika.

He added that growth has also been recorded in hotel accommodation bookings made via Gateway Stream.

The application has also enlisted 55 000 rooms across Africa, enabling anyone the world over to search for and book accommodation in any of the listed countries on Gateway Stream, similar to the likes of Bookings.com and Expedia making the application a serious exporter and a strong foreign revenue earner for the country.—STAFF WRITER

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